India Philanthropy Alliance Launched

India Philanthropy Alliance Launched

The India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) was officially launched during the second annual Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit at the Copley Hall of Georgetown University on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Oct. 2 and also the first day of the Indiaspora conceived ChaloGive — an online giving campaign extending through Oct. 8, to encourage higher levels of giving by the Indian diaspora.

The Indian American charitable giving, consisting of 11 Indian-American philanthropic organizations — including some of the leading and well-established organizations like the Pratham USA, the American India Foundation (AIF), Ekal USA, and the Foundation for Excellence (FFE) — have come together under the banner of the India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) to advance India’s humanitarian and sustainable development goals through increased collaboration and innovation.

Others who are part of the Alliance are: the Akanksha Fund, Arogya World, CRY America, Dasra, Magic Bus USA, VisionSpring, and Indiaspora, whose founder and chairman M. R. Rangaswami, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and angel investor conceived of this coalition more than two years ago and then pushed it through to become a reality with the organizational skills and expertise of AIF’s former CEO Alex Counts, now IPA’s senior adviser, and Indiaspora’s own Philanthropy Initiatives manager Gabrielle Trippe, along with Sanjeev Joshipura, executive director of Indiaspora.

The Indiaspora summit brought together over 100 participants including philanthropists, leading business executives, academics, policy experts, and Indian-American community leaders for an all-day brainstorming via several panel discussions and thought-provoking conversations on various aspects of philanthropy.

The grassroots initiative is focused on individual giving by the Indian diaspora to 21 nonprofits that are making an impact in India and the U.S. through its online platform ChaloGive.org. The campaign was inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. as well as the week-long Daan Utsav campaign in India, which also has gained considerable traction, and coincides with the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary Oct. 2.

IPA said the 11 organizations collectively raise $125 million annually in philanthropic donations, including more than $50 million in the United States, and their “most generous donors are Indian-American entrepreneurs and professionals as well as companies doing business in both the United States and India.”

It said, “Together, these 11 organizations have cumulatively impacted more than 67 million people with their evidence-based programs spanning education, health care, livelihood support, and other essential services.”

Part of its mission, according to IPA would be “to help India meet its United Nations Sustainable Development Goal commitments,” and in this regard, “the organizations that are part of the Alliance will work more closely together in their constituency-building efforts in the United States and in their work in India.

Deepak Raj, a New Jersey-based entrepreneur and investor, who is the chairman of Pratham, one of the leading education-focused nonprofits, unanimously chosen to lead IPA as its first chairman, said, “We’re excited about this effort to join forces today as a new alliance committed to the ideal of making a collective impact. Working together, using our combined philanthropic reach and innovative ideas, we can help India in far greater ways than each of us could accomplish working on our own. The time is right for building a more robust culture of philanthropy among Indian-Americans and I am positive that our efforts will help accelerate social progress in India,” he predicted.

Minoo Gupta, vice chair of IPA and president of FFE, which has supported over 20,000 low-income and underprivileged Indian scholars to pursue higher education, including in some cases in the U.S. and boast of a few of their scholarship recipients now working for corporate heavyweights like Google, said, “Organizations working towards the goal of educating all Indians regardless of their family’s wealth cannot work in isolation from others with similar goals, or from efforts of the government.” She said, “The opportunities for transformation are vast and a collective impact approach is now needed.”

Nishant Pandey, CEO of AIF — a nearly two-decade old collective platform for philanthropy benefitting India that has raised $129 million benefitting more than 5.6 million underprivileged people in India through its work in education, health, and livelihoods — and the other vice-chair of IPA said, “Our generous donors have been telling us for years that greater collaboration among professionally run nonprofits focused on India made sense, and that a narrative of complementarity has been missing from our sector.” Thus, he said, “AIF is pleased to respond in a pragmatic and visionary way to our friends and supporters by being a founding member of the Alliance.”

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