Solidarity Grants: Our tribute to the ongoing efforts of Indian non-profit organisations

Solidarity Grants: Our tribute to the ongoing efforts of Indian non-profit organisations

By Roopa Kudva.

At Omidyar Network India, we believe it is critical to support the non-profit sector in these challenging times, and so we are announcing ‘Solidarity Grants’ amounting to $1.9 million (~Rs. 13.6 crores) to 11 current and alumni grantees working at the grassroots.

From the early days of the pandemic, the non-profit sector has been the driving force for on-ground relief, pandemic management and resilience-building efforts, despite the difficult circumstances. Solidarity Grants represent one of our three key efforts to support the non-profit sector in this challenging environment.

The first of these efforts was the Rapid Response Funding Initiative launched in March 2020. It was focused on funding non-profit organisations (NPOs) outside our portfolio and utilized our CSR funds as well as personal contributions from our team.

For NPOs in our portfolio organisations, we are providing support in two forms:

(i) Solidarity Grants: For field organisations

The Solidarity Grants are focused on grassroot/field NPOs within our portfolio.

In this time of uncertainty, it is more critical than ever for us to stand by our investees and show ‘solidarity’ by supporting non-profits in our portfolio. These non-profits, working in areas ranging from property rights to urban governance to education, are directly involved in driving impact and in doing so, are helping create a meaningful life for every Indian. Our grants are a symbol of our conviction in the important work of our grantee organisations, and the entrepreneurs and the teams driving them. The grantees have a track record of strong performance and an established theory of change. We have also chosen some high-impact “alumni” organisations.

The 11 NPOs receiving Solidarity Grants are:

organisation list

(ii) Separate programme for think-tanks

We will shortly be rolling out a separate funding programme specifically for think-tanks in our portfolio.

Think tanks and research organizations form a critical part of the non-profit ecosystem creating new knowledge, developing policy recommendations, and making these available to other stakeholders like governments, civil society, media and businesses. They also provide safe spaces for intellectual discussions, debates, and long-term strategic thinking. Many of them represent voices of geographies and communities that may otherwise not be represented in policy discussions.

Hence, we seek to support think-tanks in our portfolio to improve their effectiveness and resilience. The programme will support organisational strengthening efforts in areas like governance, diversity initiatives, learning, impact measurement and mental health. The think tanks will have to apply for this funding and successful applicants under the program will also receive ongoing support to help them better understand their challenges and identify opportunities.

Together, these three initiatives are our way of paying tribute to the important work that non-profits across India are engaged in. It is also our small contribution to ensuring that the sector emerges from this crisis and scales greater heights.

We hope the donor community will “lean in” in a similar fashion. We believe that providing a fillip to this critical sector at this urgent time of need, will go a long way in helping India recover from the impact of the pandemic.