The EdelGive Foundation emphasizes the need to create sustainable and future-ready grassroots organizations | APN News

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Institutional well-being for social change: the EdelGive Foundation emphasizes the need to create sustainable and future-ready grassroots organizations

Posted on January 27, 2022

Chennai : Civil society organizations across India are feeling the negative impact of COVID-19 as they continue to provide relief and support to underserved communities during the pandemic. Lack of resources hampered their growth and functioning, while several NGOs faced the risk of forced closure. In an effort to address this issue, the EdelGive Foundation has launched GROW Fund (Grassroots, Resilience, Ownership, Wellness) – a one-of-a-kind financial initiative that aims to redefine collaborative philanthropy and help grassroots organizations mitigate risk of COVID-19 and be prepared for the future.

To discuss the creation of sustainable and resilient grassroots organizations, the EdelGive Foundation organized a roundtable on January 24, 2022, on the theme of institutional well-being. Representatives of major Indian and international philanthropic institutions, namely Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rainmatter Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Societal Platform and Dalyan Foundation joined Naghma Mulla, CEO of EdelGive Foundation, to discuss how whose institutional well-being may prove to be a successful approach to more effective social change. The discussion was moderated by Smarinita Shetty, Co-Founder and CEO, India Development Review.

Speaking about the GROW theme and fund, Naghma Mulla, CEO of EdelGive Foundation, said“Lack of support in building institutional well-being and development has led to several inefficiencies as the focus is on program-specific funding. COVID-19 has proven to be a wake-up call as it has severely strained the already limited resources of grassroots organisations.Through the GROW Fund, we aim to make capacity building more consumable and adoptable by NGOs by facilitating cross-learning and providing dedicated funding for the development of We are focusing on our goal to help changemakers internalize the lessons learned over the next two years into institutional structures.”

Sharing his view, Sameer Shisodia, CEO of Rainmatter Foundation, mentioned, “Unless there is adoption of ground-level solutions, there will only be short-term success that will fade once the project cycle is over. NGOs are the real agents of change and have the social capital and perspective to find the right solutions. Their institutional well-being must be promoted by helping them to increase their capacities to absorb technology, financial models and systemic solutions. We need to empower nonprofits to think bigger and support the continuity of their approach and operations. NGOs cannot be event managers and need to be strengthened at the organizational level.

Discuss ways to focus on institutional well-being, Moutushi Sengupta, Director – India, MacArthur Foundation, said, “As funders, we have to be quite flexible in our approach. We need to provide long-term support to enable civil society organizations and help them find their way in more meaningful ways. We need to provide mentorship and support to help them find the best way to deal with various situations. In order to successfully lead the conversation on organizational well-being, the power of networks and collaborations must be wielded and NGOs must connect to the larger ecosystem.

Elaborating on the importance of institutional well-being, Sanjay Purohit, Chief Curator, Societal Platform, said“Organizations and individuals need to question their responsibility to support the changemakers who have taken over to tackle some of the most complex issues at the local level. Therefore, it is imperative that we work build their resilience and mutual trust It should not be about return on investment and measuring impact, but about building a cadre of leaders and institutions that can better support civil society as it goes We need to change the perception that philanthropic capital should only be used for direct impact.

Arnav Kapur, Manager – Philanthropic Partnerships, India and South Asia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Yonca Even Guggenbühl, President, Dalyan Foundation also shared their views on reducing negative stress on grassroots organizations and focusing on commitments to long-term to stimulate institutional well-being and support future readiness in a sustainable way.

Traditionally, external funding has been directed towards scaling up existing NGO programs. However, there is a need to deepen the organizational well-being and improve the capacities of these grassroots change agents. This would help NGOs improve their processes, efficiency, financial resilience and, most importantly, prepare them for the adversities of the future.


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