Fundraising nowadays is a very competitive market, in the words of Jyoti Sagar, who with her wife, Prema Sagar, is founding-trustee of the Genesis Foundation, which is always looking for new, interesting ways to do its job.
The foundation has been organising the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Music Festival for four years now. This unique fund-raiser channels all the proceeds into the treatment of children battling congenital heart disease, thalassaemia, and cancer. These children are from families that earn less than Rs 10,000 a month.
This year, the festival had more than 600 participants, a four-fold increase in the number from 2012, when only 150-odd people had taken part. The new edition brought more corporate sponsors on board, from Samsung and Silverglades to Grey Goose and Mini Cooper. “The companies know they will find the right market to pitch their products to. Brands can pitch, bands can play, while we can generate funds,” said Jyoti Sagar.
“We at Silverglades have known the Genesis Foundation for a long time, and when we got an opportunity to sponsor this event, we jumped at it, since one it is for a noble cause and second it helps us advertise in Kasuali, which is a market we are looking to tap,” said Vishal Chopra, general manager, sales, Silverglades. But why music, and in a hill resort where the audience would be limited? “Both of us (Jyoti and she) are music lovers who used to frequent Kasauli; and many of our friends wanted to come over, too. So it was our love for Kasauli and music that led to this festival,” said Prema Sagar.“On this scale, it is more about personalising the experience. The people who come to the festival know where their money is going; and unlike concerts, this is a more intimate setting, where people take part as a family,” said Jyoti.
“It is good to be part of something that gives something back to society,” said Ananda Sen of The Supersonics, a view echoed by the other performers.