New ways to support NGOs – II

In this second part of our series, we conclude our two-part interview with The Bake Collective and Hand to Heart.

The Bake Collective, led by Kavita Gonsalves and Charlene Vaz, organises bake sales with all proceeds going to charity. This initiative connects an army of like-minded bakers, volunteers and supporters to supply brownies, cupcakes and biscuits for the sales.

KC: Do you think NGOs recognise the value of such initiatives?

TBC: Yes- NGOs usually have a time or human resource restraint on fundraising, even though it an equally essential component of making their work possible. That is where we step in.

KC: Is there a pattern in the kind of people who purchase the products?

TBC: The only thread that connects the people that purchase TBC products is the ‘will to do good’ in one way or the other.

KC: Has social cause awareness increased through this medium? Do you think the use of social media also encourages people to engage with you?

TBC: This medium definitely helps give visibility to social causes on the street- people are attracted to the buzz it creates as well the fun element it brings to fundraising for social causes. We don’t want people to give contributions on the basis of pity but rather allow them to feel that they are empowering someone with their Rs.100.

Social Media has played such a big role in the emergence of TBC, so much so, that a good friend put it aptly that we were ‘crowdsourcing philanthrophy’. The word gets out to the general public via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram , and we also have the good old word-of-mouth doing the rounds.

The Hand to Heart initiative began as an attempt to introduce  SHG women and their products to a potential market. We spoke with Shreya Hariyani, who works with the Hand to Heart initiative, about her thoughts on giving and the reasons for the initiative’s success.

KC: Do you think NGOs recognise the value of such initiatives?

TBC: NGO’s do recognise the value of such initiatives and in some cases rely on it too much. In case of self-help groups these women do not view themselves as a social cause and think of themselves as entrepreneurs which greatly aids in their motivation to make good quality products and work hard to achieve good sales. In most cases women are not even looking at high profits and are just content to be running their own enterprise and being self- sufficient.

KC: Is there a pattern in the kind of people who purchase the products?

TBC: We have not observed any specific pattern. Men and Women (mostly) will purchase any product that appeals/is of use to them and the fact that it will go towards charity only aids their purchasing decision.

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