Foreign alms to NGOs up 15.6%

DEVI YESODHARAN / ETIG

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
[ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 03, 2003 05:32:36 AM ]

Charity is big business, from the look of things. According to the latest figures from the ministry of home affairs, voluntary organisations in India received Rs 4,535.2 crore by way of contributions from abroad during 2000-01, the latest period for which the data is available.

This indicates a 15.6% increase from 99-00, when NGOs received Rs 3,924.6 crore through foreign contributions.

The top recipient in India of foreign funds was the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, based in Andhra Pradesh, which received Rs 88.2 crore for the year 2000-01. In second place was the World Vision of India of Tamil Nadu, with Rs 85.4 crore, followed by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, based in Maharashtra, with received close to Rs 75 crore.

The donations show an increasing trend over the last decade, growing by over 220% since 1991, when the total inflow of contributions to organisations stood at Rs 1,412 crore. Nearly 50 organisations receive over Rs 10 crore in foreign donations every year, and over 600 organisations get yearly foreign donations of over Rs 1 crore.

The largest chunk of the money received was earmarked for rural development, which accounted for Rs 537 crore of donations end 2001. Second came health and family welfare, which received Rs 433 crore across organisations. Around 10% of the total inflow of foreign funds is used for religious activities primarily by Christian and Hindu organisations.

Over the last decade, the organisation which has received the largest funds overall is the Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vishwa Vidya Peetham, with total incoming funds of close to Rs 400 crore through donations to date, followed by World Vision India, with Rs 375 crore and Foster Parents Plan International, with net foreign donations of Rs 370 crore.

Where is all the money coming from? The USA heads the list of donor countries in 2000-01, with an amount of Rs 1,492.6 crore, followed by the UK and Germany, contributing Rs 677.6 crore and Rs 655.4 crore respectively. The largest single donor agency, World Vision International, also from the US, poured Rs 80.4 crore into Indian-based NGOs in 2000-01. Foster Plan of the US came in second, donating Rs 76.4 crore.

Donations from the US over the last decade have been growing by an average of 23% every year, while Germany shows a yearly increase of 6% in contributions. Other key contributors are Italy and the Netherlands, with Italy donating close to Rs 300 crore in 2000-01, and Netherlands pitching in with nearly Rs 250 crore. Funds from Spain have been growing at 35% every year.

Banks in India have been taking this sector quite seriously, with key private banks tailoring their products for NGO accounts. American Express and Standard Chartered Grindlays have managers, who concentrate exclusively on developing NGO relationships, and offer special rates on incoming foreign funds for welfare organisations.

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Posted by: Saibabanews