Giving Compass' Take:

• The Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University researched the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indian nonprofits, and surveys showed three critical areas of strain. 

• How can donors help nonprofit sustainability during the pandemic? 

•Read about these unique ways to fund nonprofits in India. 

When the world’s largest and strictest COVID-19 lockdown began on March 24, 2020, millions of India’s most vulnerable citizens were suddenly cut off from both their livelihoods and families. Almost immediately, thousands of nonprofit organisations in India mobilised to provide food, healthcare, information, cash transfers, and transportation to affected populations. But at the same time, these nonprofits have also been struggling with the pandemic’s effects on their own capacities and sustainability.

To understand how the pandemic has affected nonprofits and where they stand now, the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University undertook a rapid response research project, conducting in-depth interviews with 50 leaders of nonprofits in April and May, 2020. The organisations surveyed work across the country, in different thematic areas. Their staff size ranges from less than 10 to more than 1,000 employees, and their annual operating budgets range from INR 10 lakh to INR 250 crore. This project will be followed by a more detailed investigation and analysis later in the year.

The crisis has had an impact on the work and sustainability of the nonprofits surveyed. They can be broadly categorised into three areas:

  1. Financial stress
  2. Unpreparedness to switch to digital platforms
  3. Loss of progress on existing programmes

Read the full article about implications for India's nonprofits by Divya Chopra at India Development Review.