Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Arindam Chaudhuri (IIPM Dean) – ‘Every human being is a diamond’

How would you market an NGO? Do celebrities matter for them? How does an NGO break through the clutter? 4Ps B&M chats up with a practitioner and an expert

Who are your major fund providers and how challenging is it for you to market a social cause to them?
Our major fund providers are foundations and trusts. It is really difficult for us to market ourselves as we look after people who are at the end of their lives. In fact, our break through occurs only when people, who have a cancer patient at home, personally experience palliative care/hospice services and realise how valuable they are.

Many corporates have their own CSR programmes? What is it that further motivates them to invest in social sector through NGOs? How do you convince them?
I think the best way to convince them is to show them your work. We invite our potential donors to visit our Day Care and Home Care programmes and give them the first hand experience of what we are actually doing. Often people in corporate world are also looking for volunteer opportunities – to be able to do some thing that is hands on. Further, those who have experienced cancer in their personal lives are highly motivated to give back.

What role does branding and advertising play in your fund raising strategy?
Branding and advertising do not play much of a role unless one finds a sponsor. Further, as it’s an expensive exercise therefore we rather like to spend every single paisa on our programmes. Fundraising events, such as our annual walk-a-thon, ‘Walk for Life’, are ways in which we ensure our visibility. We also celebrate World Hospice Day.

What strategies do you adopt to break through the clutter and ensure that people and authorities notice your efforts?
This is very difficult as we do not have the funds nor do we wish to allocate funds for advertising our brand. Our work and the transparency of our functioning speak for us. Information about us is generally conveyed by word of mouth by our beneficiaries, through our volunteers and friends who are associated with us and via our publications.

There are several celebrities that can be seen associated, both directly and indirectly, with some or the other NGO? Do such associations really make your job easier?
Our experience with celebrities has been limited to our events. We have found that it requires a great deal of investment, both in terms of time and effort on our part, which could be used with greater results elsewhere. However, the sad truth is that the media is more likely to highlight the event if a celebrity is attending it.

How important is transparency when it comes to operations?
For us this is the most important area. Therefore we have an active managing committee, a functioning executive committee and SOPs for all our activities and programmes. In fact, there is a monitoring process in place for all our programmes and activities.

What are the important changes required, both in terms of policy & operations, to ensure that the social sector bears fruits in the long run?
The government must accept its responsibility of being the spearhead for bringing about social change. Organisations like ours, with limited means and capacities, should be used judiciously. We can serve as replicable models, provide training, fill gaps in delivery of specific services temporarily as well as monitor the implementation of programmes at the ground level. It is also important to make us part of the policy process so that we can share our operational experiences as providers and consumers. This feedback will make for more effective policy making at the government level.

Harmala Gupta is the Founder-President of CanSupport, a Delhi-based NGO that works for cancer patients

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
Award Conferred To Irom Chanu Sharmila By IIPM
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm - Planman Consulting
IIPM Lucknow – News article in Economic Times and Times of India
IIPM: Planman Stars – Event management made easy
Arindam Chaudhuri – Everything is not in our hands
Planman Technologies – IT Solutions at your finger tips

Planman Consulting

Follow Arindam Chaudhuri on Twitter
Arindam Chaudhuri's Portfolio - he is at his candid best by Society Magazine
Social Networking Sites have become advertising shops

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