In a country like India, where over 40 per cent of the population lives below poverty line, help from government institutions alone is not enough to provide the basic necessities. There are several NGOs and private organisations involved in helping out the needy, but raising funds is not an easy task.
It is here that an organisation like Punya Karma can step in to bridge the gap between those in need and the benefactors. Launched by Sanjay Bhutiani, founder of Footprints Motion Pictures, and Sajida Sharma, Punya Karma (which means ‘good deeds’) is a social service solutions company whose endeavour is to work with non-profit organisations and help them strategise and raise funds.
Punya Karma is targeting corporate as well as individual donors through one on one interactions and online promotions. In fact, the company has managed to connect with a vast community that is donating millions of dollars in markets outside India as well. To successfully target such donors, it is now preparing a blueprint. It plans to bring many NGOs under one umbrella and offer aid, help and support through its global network.
Sanjay Bhutiani , one of the two partners of the organisation, elaborated, “I would like to give you a glimpse of what is happening in the US, where annual donations last year stood at $300 billion (as reported in ET last week) and 75 per cent of individuals were the main contributors. In contrast, the Indian donation market is pegged at about $6-7 billion per annum with very little contribution coming from individuals. For an unchanged rationale we were wondering how to cultivate the local market and how to leverage donors overseas. The big corporates in India have their own CSR initiatives and hence do not participate much on outside undertakings. Thus, we would like to get a few NGOs (50) signed with Punya Karma, with each of them contributing a small amount every month to market and promote the group on the Internet (in India and overseas), through direct marketing and events.”
A website and payment gateway is being developed by a team of professionals and is expected to be launched by mid-March 2011. On every donation they receive on the net and otherwise, Punya Karma will in turn get a small percentage (7.5-10 per cent) for administrative and other expenses.
The company helped raise funds for Loomba Foundation over a charity dinner in Mumbai on December 8, 2010, where HDFC Ltd, Raymond Ltd, a multinational bank and individuals donated wholeheartedly towards the cause of Indian widows and their children’s education. The company is planning to embark in a similar fund-raising exercise again in Mumbai and Delhi in mid-November 2011. Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is the President of the Foundation.