NGO Insights: Child Help Foundation

Dated : 19 Nov 2014
  1. Sector and Positioning:

Established in 2011, Mumbai-based Child Help Foundation (CHF) is one of the fastest growing NGOs working for the needy and often neglected children in and around Thane district. CHF has adopted a holistic approach to nurture a child. However, CHF doesn’t directly reach out to a large mass of its beneficiaries. CHF’s smart strategy to financially support and strengthen existing orphanages, educational institutes and hospitals through tie-ups has helped them scale up their reach manifold. In addition to this, CHF also runs Calamity Relief Program at the affected areas after any natural calamities. It organizes several CSR programs for its partner corporates, and in a short span of time, CHF has roped in several mid-sized and a few large corporate partners to fulfil the needs of children, by collecting donations largely in kind. 

CHF is a volunteer driven non-profit and most volunteers are actively engaged in a variety of fund raising activities. CHF follows an aggressive, yet low cost marketing strategy. Several fund raising campaigns are conducted throughout the year and this has helped CHF raise a large amount of donations which is evident from its rapid growth across 7 states in India.  

  1. Impact:
  • Under its orphanage support program, CHF supported 253 children across seven shelter homes in two states by providing financial and in-kind support for their Education, Medical, Food and Shelter expenses.
  • Empowered 384 children across two Zilla Parishad Schools; one each in Tiwri and Naigaon by teaching them English and Basic Computer skills.
  • Sponsored surgeries for four children suffering from critical illnesses under its Medical Support Program. CHF has tied up with several hospitals and can refer cases to them. The volunteers of CHF at Cyclone hit areas in Odisha arranged health camps for the needy.
  • Over 50 solar lamps were distributed to students residing in Gudijar, a village in Odisha where electricity is made available for only 2-3 hours a day. CHF’s target is to distribute 25,000 solar lamps to students in three neighboring villages of Gudijar by 2017. The cost per solar lamp is Rs1,000/- and the estimated life of a solar lamp is approximately a year and a half.
  1. Financial Parameters:
  • CHF posted an annual income of Rs27mn in FY14 v/s Rs21mn in FY13. Y-o-Y income growth of 29% was due to increase in the number of corporates supporting CHF’s programs.
  • In addition to monetary donations received, CHF had received several donations in kind from corporates, under its ‘Wish Tree’ campaign for children; for which no monetary value was assigned in the year under review.
  • As no bifurcation of income sources and expenses are reported in audited financial statements, it is difficult to assess the contribution made by different income sources and the proportion of amount spent on different expenses.
  • During our meeting with CHF, sources we interacted with indicated that no funds were received from foreign sources so far as they received their FCRA Registration only in late FY14. Recently, CHF have got themselves listed with Credibility Alliance, C.A.F. and GiveIndia and is likely to receive foreign income in FY15.
  • CHF incurs about Rs600-Rs700 and Rs25,000-Rs30,000 on average to acquire a new individual and corporate donor respectively. This cost is inclusive of salaries, communication and meeting expenses.
  • CHF targets raising Rs8,000 and Rs300,000 on average from individual and corporate clients respectively. However, so far they have been able to raise about Rs3,000 and Rs150,000 respectively.
  • About 20 tele callers are appointed to market CHF’s funding requirements. None of these tele callers are on CHF’s payroll. The tele calling channel is limited to acquiring and maintaining retail donors. Details of the tele-marketing were not disclosed to us and have not been reported separately in the financial statements.
  1. Sustainability Parameters:
  • CHF recorded a whopping 3-Year income CAGR of 179% during FY12-FY14. The impressive growth was due a massive YoY jump of 487% in income in FY13. Since the organisation is in its start-up phase, such sharp jumps in income are not unusual. We expect the income growth to stabilize at lower levels over a period of time.   
  • Strategic steps taken (tie-ups with hospitals, collaboration with orphanages and schools, fund raising campaigns and volunteer training programs) since inception suggest that CHF is set to create a sustainable impact in the community.
  • Over 45 corporate donors supported CHF’s programs in FY13; in FY14, this jumped to more than 60. The rise in number of donors in FY14 is positive when looked at in isolation, but when compared with the previous year, only 4 out of 45 corporate donors in FY13 chose to support CHF in FY14, i.e. only 10% were repeat donors in FY14.
  1. Major Challenges:
  • No financial support from the state government for education, orphanage and medical support programs.
  • Lack of teachers; thus limiting the scope of reaching out to more Zilla Parishad schools.
  1. Governance & Reporting Standards:
  • CHF is governed by three founding members, who are also the Trustees of the Board. No trustees are related to each other by blood. The trustees are extremely passionate about CHF and are well versed with the mantras of donor management.
  • All trustees formally meet once every quarter, however, informally all are connected with the management plus the core team.
  • The Management team consists of 11 members. Out of this, only two members are actively involved and others provide strategic input as and when needed. Besides this, there is a six member Core Team, and each member is responsible for heading different functions of CHF.
  • CHF is spearheaded by Prashant Suvarna, who prior to joining CHF worked with Max New York Life Insurance Company, IOL Broadband and others. He has over 18 years of experience in diverse industries like Insurance, IT, E-business, Manufacturing and Trading. Prashant’s go-getting attitude has contributed immensely to CHF’s evolution.
  • Annual Reports published are detailed and exhibit YoY performance for all projects, including annual activities carried out throughout the year. However, no quarterly/monthly newsletters have been published so far.

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