How to check if an NGO is legitimate
Giving donation to the needy is a noble deed, and it certainly makes the giver feel that she has done something worthy. India today is the grip of a devastating second wave of COVID-19, and with lockdowns or restrictions on business, people are struggling to make ends meet. Many desperately need funds for medical treatment, oxygen, food, and need help for hospital admissions, since hospitals are out of beds.
NGOs are facing shortage of funds for their programs, since donations are drying up. NGOs cannot shut down old age homes, orphanages and food programs. The need of the hour is for philanthropic people to step up and donate generously to charity, but you should ensure that you donate to a trusted NGO, which has completed due diligence by a third party.
So how can you be sure that you are donating to a genuine NGO and that your hard money is actually being used for the stated purpose? What is implied by genuineness is that the charity has a clearly stated social welfare objectives, and the organization has high levels of governance and integrity.
An individual donor cannot carry out due diligence of an NGO. Such donors can rely upon “Credibility Alliance“, (https://credibilityalliance.org/) the consortium of voluntary organizations committed towards enhancing accountability and transparency in the voluntary sector through good governance. Credibility Alliance is governed by well respected board members and is professionally managed by qualified and accomplished individuals. It has a well established system of accrediting charity organizations, which includes :
– Verification of legal documents, including society or trust registration, 80G and FCRA certification and income tax returns
– Report by assessors after visit to NGO
Credibility Alliance website gives a list of organizations which are accredited. If a particular NGO is in the list, it implies that the NGO has cleared the due diligence process and is genuine.
If the NGO is not listed by Credibility Alliance, you can check the website of GiveIndia. The organization is a philanthropy exchange that provides a simple, sophisticated and least expensive platform (meaning the commission it charges to the NGO is the least among non-direct platforms) to donate to the desired NGOs. Giveindia.org, has an alphabetical list of NGOs that are eligible to receive donations through Give India.
Is it safe to donate through GiveIndia
GiveIndia has been actively working since 2000 to bridge the trust gap between the donors and the trusted NGOs which are doing exemplary work. This is achieved with the GiveAssured framework.
‘GiveAssured’ is their promise to donor that GiveIndia:
• Verifies and audit every single organisation and program before listing it on the platform.
• Assessors from GiveIndia go on ground in remotest parts of India and meet the people for who the NGO’s program promises benefits through your donations
• Provide you the safest donation options with 100% secure payment gateway
• Provide you the choice among the programs with different asks, which is based on what the NGO actually spends or requires as funding in a given year
• Give you regular updates on the programs that you donate for so that you know the difference you are making in an individual’s life over a period of time
Donors receive instant tax receipts by email and annual consolidated receipts for tax filing to get tax exemption on their donations under 80G & 501(c)(3)
The follow-up process of donations is very strict with GiveIndia. Also if any program is added by NGO, they make sure it is verified.
Verification visits are conducted by randomly identifying two or more beneficiaries of a program from the reports that have been sent by the nonprofits. Our team then visit the beneficiary, usually directly without prior information. Says GiveIndia.
SERUDS is listed with GiveIndia. Donate to Seruds Projects on GiveIndia