The Unwelcome Costs of Running an NGO in India

Rs. 20,000 is the typical bribe that must be paid for filing or renewing an 80G (which is kind of like a US 501(c)3 but allows your donors to deduct 50% of their donation from income taxes). This is pretty much standard in any part of India except in Delhi, where the crooks in the Income Tax office will only renew your certificate for one year, as opposed to the standard three years.

Rs. 20,000 is a lot of money for an NGO in India. Rs. 20,000 (approximately US $500 ) will pay for 3 years and 4 months of education for a girl child in Andhra Pradesh, or 2 years of education for 10 slum children in Gujarat, or provide almost a year’s worth of medication for an HIV-infected person in New Delhi. (To see more examples of what US $500 will buy – or better yet, to donate online for any one of these causes – check out GiveIndia, a portal that facilitates online retail donations for accredited NGOs in India; in the US, go to GiveWorld.)

Rs. 1.25 lakh (Rs. 1,25,000 or approximately US $3,125) is the bribe for FCRA (Foreign Contributions Regulations Act) – the ability to accept foreign donations. The irony here is that most of the NGOs that apply for and even get FCRA will never get a Dollar or Euro or Yen of foreign funding. (This would actually make a good research project – any takers?) Those NGOs that have friends in high places and can get away with not paying the bribe get FCRA clearance in the eternal hope that the grass is always greener on the other side of the ocean.  It is true that a Dollar or Euro or Yen does go far in India, but most of these NGOs do not know how to reach potential donors with those Dollars or Euros or Yen.  But I digress… Back to those not-so-hidden costs…

In Bombay, many NGOs are housed in formerly vacant, dilapidated BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation – i.e. government) school buildings.  The buildings are vacant because BMC schools are so bad that they do not retain students, even the poor students that make up their constituency.  The government employees that run these schools and buildings basically pocket all the money that would go into higher quality education or building maintenance, so both suffer.  Teachers don’t show up because they are paid so poorly.  These very same teachers get paid to give “tuitions” (additional tutoring that almost every student in India pays for in order to get into good schools in the next level of education) to the very students that drop out of the municipal schools and enter whatever private schools they can afford. (There’s probably some kind of organized scam here too.)  But again, I digress…

Once an NGO or group of NGOs have fixed up the run-down buildings and made a home for themselves, the “requests” and sometimes threats begin.  “Why don’t you help us renovate our school building – look at the conditions the students have to face.  Why don’t you make a nice garden on the school grounds?  Why don’t you build a playground for the students?”  And every time an NGO gives in and pays for a renovation, the official in charge takes credit for the renovation, bills the BMC, and pockets the reimbursement.  If the NGO refuses to cooperate, they are threatened with eviction.  One NGO was even given a fake letter from the Department of Education (written by a Deputy Education Officer) that the policy of allowing NGOs to rent school property had been changed and that the policy would be applied retroactively, throwing out all NGOs that are already in school buildings.

And the list goes on.  What do the NGOs do?  They pay what they have to pay and get on with their work.  For if you fight the petty bureaucrat, a higher-level bureaucrat will come down on you even harder.

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43 Responses to “The Unwelcome Costs of Running an NGO in India”


  1. 1 T.L.sankaran September 17, 2007 at 9:44 am

    SIR ,WE ARE TAX EXEMPTION INDIAN NGO. WE ARE RUNNING OUR COMMUNITY COLLEGHE PAST 10 YEARS.WE NEED FINICIAL HELP FOR WEAKERS SECTION PEOPLE.WE ARE AWAITING YOUR REPLY SIR,,

  2. 2 rajeev November 29, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    pls. get in touch,
    my cell 9892443388 – Bombay

  3. 3 Ram Velagapudi February 25, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Any genuine christian NGOs having Income Tax exemption under Section 35 (1) (ii) / 35 AC & requiring funds for projects approved by Govt, please contact.

    • 4 Mihir Shah March 13, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      hi.
      we have the file with all original documents of a christian trust with 35 ac 1 2. We are looking for donors. CBDT approval is over Rs 8000 Cr. If you have donors, please call 9920120384

    • 5 sanjeev April 7, 2010 at 9:26 am

      RAJEEV IS A FRAUD MAN ….DONT DEAL WITH HIM…..HE WANTS ADVANCE BEFORE THE WORK…..HE IS GONE OUT OF HIS HEAD

    • 6 dr jani April 12, 2010 at 6:29 am

      respected sir

      we r runin a trust hospital in rural area amreli gujrat. we did around 2000 catract operatin free in last year n we r also doin free delivery for bpl card holders.

      we r havin 80g,12a,fcra certi we welcome respected donours to give hand for his open heart.
      our contact no is 09978966629

      thankin you
      dr arpan jani

  4. 7 Zannat-e-Darwaza March 28, 2008 at 11:40 am

    We are working for sexworker children & women safety

    Chairmen
    phone & fax 011 2528 2528

  5. 8 annette sitlhou May 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    donations…..is this true…. r people getting…… donations from foreign donors…..may god bless us all…

  6. 9 KADARI UMA MAHESHWARA RAO May 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    It is very bad that true working concept ngo could not get any support and guidence. And it is observed that 23% of indians having huge money but they are love to live as rich people in india they don’t want see back, they never bothered about the poor or
    country.

    Thank you rich people with warm REGARDS

    G.SECRETARY
    http://www.jagruthingo.org

  7. 10 Sushma July 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Hi,

    We are NGOs having Income Tax exemption under Section 35 (1) (ii) / 35 AC & requiring funds for projects approved. looking for the donation to work on the Education of children who can’t affort to get education or good education.

    for donation or investment pls contact

    Sushma Rai
    (v.p of the organisation)
    9968444474
    9968444454

  8. 11 Nirmalya Mukherjee July 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    we are searching christian ngos having 35 1(ii) forhelping them in all respect to complete their big new projects . call:09474740114
    mail: mr.nirmalya@rediffmail.com

  9. 12 Col pdharma,General secretary July 24, 2008 at 11:16 am

    We are an ex army officers organisation ,Is there any donor who is guienely interested to come forward and join hand in helping the poors .we are still in need of funds to build atleast 15 houses cum community center school etc at pondichery.we have FCRA.If you have funds please come forward.col pd sharma

  10. 13 NARENDRA BABU July 27, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Hi!

    We are looking for christian organisations having 35 A,C for funding their approved projects. Please contact immediately.

    Regards.

    Narendra Babu
    9900456656

  11. 14 rahul August 2, 2008 at 9:53 am

    i wnt to work for NGO which is working in Education fields of childrens. i am fresh COmp. Application gradute from madras universty and i have done my 3 yr diploma in information tech.

    Cell no:9050310016
    mail at rahul17985@gmail.com

  12. 15 rahul August 2, 2008 at 9:55 am

    i wnt to serve society and making living as well because my financial conditions does not allow me to work as volunteer

  13. 16 krishna sharma August 28, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    We are looking for christian organisations having 35 A,C Sec 12 for funding their approved projects.. without any bribe.. this is just the depents of objective of NGO..

    contect if any
    09999689317

  14. 17 sachin September 14, 2008 at 6:11 am

    we r having two ngo with 10:23,FCRA,CBDT CLEARANCE,…35AC,…..WITH ALL GENUINE document……we r looking for funds contact me on my cell……09225119900

  15. 18 Yatin upadhyay October 19, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Dear Sir, How we can involve with your Aim. we r working in tribal area of rajasthan . and also rigestered for 80G.
    pl suggest us

    thanks

  16. 19 Adil October 29, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    We are grass root ngo working in Western Rajasthan in India. Resently we have receive 35 AC Cetificate for govt. So We want funding support under 35 Ac .

    Adil
    MAHILA MANDAL BARMER AGOR
    RAJASTHAN
    09414107446

  17. 20 sharad dave November 13, 2008 at 3:19 am

    Dear Sir/madam,

    We have good contacts with many big corporates and MNC.

    They want to make donation minimum 1000 cr.

    The minimum aligibility is 35 AC , FCRA etc

    If you have above certificates, please contact us.

    The donation finalised within three days only, if you have christian organisations and if you have not this, no problem, the donation can finalised within 25 days.

    Contact immediatelly

    email : davexpo at yahoo dot com

    sharad dave
    09784089355

    • 21 Ashwin Pancholi May 24, 2009 at 11:49 am

      Dear Sir

      I have two NGO’s.
      One is working for education registered under 35AC and 35(i)(ii).
      Second is working for watershed program and AIDS control in rural areas registered under 80G

      If u have donation for these NGO’s pls. contact me.

      My Cell No.is-09825935309

  18. 22 DR MOHD MUSTAQEEM November 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Hi,
    I am doctor MBBS. I like to work for NGO which is in Health Services in Delhi. I have 10 years experience in this field.Please, help me.
    Thank you!

  19. 23 m.l.dash May 10, 2009 at 6:09 am

    having 35 AC I & II and 35Ac of 10cr.ngo interested to receive, pl.mail contact details.thank you.

  20. 24 Rajesh Singla May 13, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I have an NRI Trust as my client. It wants to donate a huge amount in INDIA. So, trusts with good track record, Having FCRA, projects approved under Sec 35AC, 35 1(ii) or 35 CCB etc for huge amounts may please contact with complete project details and latest income tax clearance and audited financial results. After going thru the projects, selected trusts shall be called for interview and money disbursed.

    Thanks

    mail to: singla_a114@yahoo.co.uk

  21. 25 vijay May 20, 2009 at 3:24 am

    hi,
    i am working as a fundrasier for ngo,trusts.having good track record ,80(G),FCRA,35(AC) etc in india.

    • 26 John June 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

      Well i have a trustee which is having a 80g certificate with a project of 60 Crs, how do we go with it,,,,,,,,,,,,,
      what will the ratio be,,,,,,,,,,,contact +91 97420 22420

      • 27 Ritesh Agrawal September 11, 2009 at 2:32 pm

        Dear Sir,
        I saw your advertisment on my net. I am interested to associate with you. I am cheritable organisation namet smt. Chandra kumari shiksha Samtiti. My society is registered under 80 G and F.C.R.A. Please send me details.
        your’s Faithfully
        Ritesh Agrawal

  22. 28 Paul May 31, 2009 at 5:01 am

    dear donors,we run a higher primary school in karnataka state for poor. we need funds for the development of school bulding.we are christian institution ours is registered trust 30 years old.
    Paul

  23. 29 purna9394 June 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Dear sir,

    we notied the contents. we ar running NGO in Andhra Pradesh, Vijayawada.

    We have all permission except 35ac. In this connection we require commitment letter.

    If ur organation can provide, we shall aproch and note the details of the project.

    My cell No:09848177185
    Purna9394@yahoo.com

  24. 30 Manoj Sharma June 21, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Dear All,

    We are working as funding & consulting agency and have got some approved trust/ngo’s and societies with section 80g/35ac/35(1)(2).
    We are dealing in both i.e
    1–if you want fund than we have got the donor but pls apply only if you have got the entire related documents with project done, project undergoing and future projects. Only genuine persons should contact.

    2–Apart from this if any one has got the fund(donation) than we have got the eligible well recognised trusts with complete documents.again pls only genuine donors.

    Below is the contact details:

    Manoj Sharma
    09881199290
    mannojsharma@gmail.com.
    Success isn’t permanent & Failure isn’t final , So never stop working after success & never stop trying after failure.

    • 31 MANBIR SINGH June 24, 2009 at 7:30 am

      Dear All,

      We are working as funding & consulting agency and have got some approved trust/ngo’s and societies with section 80g/35ac/35(1)(2).
      We are dealing in both i.e
      1–if you want fund than we have got the donor but pls apply only if you have got the entire related documents with project done, project undergoing and future projects. Only genuine persons should contact.

      2–Apart from this if any one has got the fund(donation) than we have got the eligible well recognized trusts with complete documents.again pls.only genuine donors.

      Below is the contact details:
      MANBIR SINGH
      09509916244
      09509916246
      09887325537

  25. 32 suraj June 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

    sir ,
    If you are a christian ngo having 35 (1)and (2) certificate please contact me on phone . One of my friends having funds to donate,
    Suraj
    Phone no 9330883125

  26. 33 jacob July 18, 2009 at 5:50 am

    we have 35AC but it is a hindu trust if any boady can help please contact us mobile no 9322634743

  27. 34 Bhupendra July 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

    We have a trustee which is having 80 G, F.C.R.A. Certificate a Project of Rs.120 crs.
    Donor/ Fund raiser may contact me. Thank you

    • 35 Bhupendra July 20, 2009 at 8:31 am

      We have 80 G, F.C.R.A. certificate a project of RS.120 crs.
      Donor/Fund raiser may contact me Thank you
      09891998694,9868376468,9555381819

  28. 36 Yeruva Latha August 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Please send full details immediately.

  29. 38 R. K. Goyal August 25, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Please inform me the eligibility i.e. time limit and amount you can accept.

  30. 39 Bhupendra Kumar August 31, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Sir,
    Kindly provide me Postal Address with Ph. No and Email id. You may talk with my Mob. no.09891998694, 09868376468
    With regards

    Bhupendra

  31. 40 sunil wankhede September 9, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Any genuine christian NGOs having Income Tax exemption under Section 35 (1) (ii) / 35 AC & requiring funds for projects approved by Govt, please contact.9322907306

  32. 41 Bhupendra Kumar September 15, 2009 at 7:18 am

    We are working as ngo consultant, any 35AC and 35 i ii registered ngo contect with us for corporate donation. My email id is bhupendra_kathait2001@yahoo.com My Mob. No. is 09891998694. contact urgentaly.

    bhupendra

  33. 42 bhas1234 March 22, 2010 at 4:46 am

    we are a non profit public charitable trust having 12A,FCRA,80G,1023(C) (iv). 50 % tax exemption. we are working for rural development,education,health,handicrafts,employment,SHGs,personalty development of rural children and youth. we need donations of our projects. if some body can help pl contact.

    thanx
    regards
    bhaskar
    pcftorg@rediffmail.com


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