When members of Snehalaya, an Ahmednagar-based not-for-profit, were asked to appear on a television show last month to speak about their work on female foeticide, little did they realise that they would receive a windfall of donations.
In less than two months since the organisation was featured on the show, it has received about Rs.1 crore in donations.
“While we received Rs. 60 lakh from the producer of the show, several more people, even from outside the country, have sent us contributions,” said Girish Kulkarni, founder, Snehalaya, which is based in western Maharashtra and usually receives on average, Rs.8 lakh in donations every month. “Within a week of appearing on the show, our website crashed due to an increased number of visitors. People from across the country have come to see our work.”
The media has often helped not-for-profit organisations attract donations. “When we conducted a telethon event on a television channel in 2005, we were able to raise Rs1 crore in a day,” said Kreaane Rabadi, regional director, Child Rights and You (CRY). “However, on a regular basis, we rely on direct communication with individual donors for funds,” she added.
“Television shows help verify the credibility of the organisation in the minds of the people,” said Nishit Kumar from Childline India Foundation, which appeared on a television show related to child sexual abuse last month. “The number of donations through our website has doubled after the show.”
Social media is also helping organisations reach out to a bigger audience. “Our organisation has a big online presence with over a lakh followers, and we are extremely active on social media to reach out to several donors across the world,” said Sachin Bangera, media manager, PETA India, a not-for-profit that works for animal welfare. “We have also occasionally raised money though contests on radio channels,” he added.