NGO Insights: Community Aid & Sponsorship Programme (CASP)

Dated : 16 Dec 2013
  1. Sector and Positioning:

Community Aid & Sponsorship Programme (CASP) is a three decade old NGO committed to overall development of underprivileged children in urban and rural India. CASP works very closely with corporates/foundations to implement issue based community development programmes. 80% of activities carried out by CASP are focussed on community development programmes and 20% on sponsoring education (preference is given to a girl child). In FY13, CASP’s sponsorship programmes directly benefitted 10,384 children across all its units (Cost per beneficiary Rs5,000 per annum). The number of direct and indirect beneficiaries exceeds 10mn since 1976. 

CASP through its sponsorship and need based awareness programmes guides children, their families and communities towards development. It also supports the ageing population and strives to ensure for them healthy, productive and participatory ageing. The focus across all programmes remains education, health, livelihoods and the creation of strong communities that strive to become economically independent.

CASP works through eight units: four in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, and Mawal); two in Delhi (CASP Delhi and CASP Plan Unit) and one each in Kerala (in collaboration with Rajagiri College of Social Sciences) and Gujarat (Kutch).

  1. Financial Parameters:

Total Income: CASP posted 18% Y-o-Y increase in total income in FY13. The total income in FY13 was Rs95mn in FY13 as against Rs80mn in FY12. Income from foreign Sources (58%) was the major revenue contributor of FY13 income. Other notable revenue contributors include corporates (10%) and Government (9%).

Income from Foreign v/s Local Sources: Income from foreign sources has remained among the major revenue contributors for CASP since FY10. The contribution from foreign sources was as high as 63% in FY12 (Refer Fig. 1). Owing to CASP’s good governance practises and transparency, foreign donors have continued to support CASP’s projects on a continuous basis. As donations from foreign sources are project based, a small Y-o-Y variation in these inflows is justified.

Total Programme Expenses: CASP spent 82% of its total expenses towards direct programme expenses in FY13. After a declining trend in FY11-FY12, total direct programme expenses increased from Rs65.5mn in FY12 to Rs75mn in FY13; surpassing the FY10 level of Rs72mn.

Overhead and other expenses: Overhead expenses in FY13 was Rs8.6mn i.e. 9% of total expenses in the same year. For FY10-13, overhead expenses have been in the range of 8-10%; suggesting tight control of expenses (Refer Fig. 2).

Trust Corpus & General Reserves: CASP had a trust corpus of Rs2.9mn in FY13. The trust corpus has remained at Rs2.9m since FY10. General Reserves in FY13 increased in proportion with the rise in total income i.e. 18%. General Reserves was at 13.7mn in FY13 as against Rs11.6mn in FY12.

Earmarked Funds: During FY13, the organization had a large corpus of Rs26.8mn as ‘Earmarked Funds’. Out of the total earmarked funds, nearly 33% of total funds is allocated under ‘perpetual sponsorship fund’ (sponsorship for education purposes only) and balance for other activities.

Loans Funds: The long term loan of Rs23mn availed in FY01 to build CASP Bhavan in Pune was fully repaid by FY11. The organization had no outstanding loans in FY13.

Current Liabilities: Current Liabilities were to the tune of Rs33mn in FY13 as against Rs27mn in FY12. Current liabilities include deposits received from tenants, sponsorship amount received in advance, donations received but not utilised during the year and tax payables. It may also be noted that all donations are routed to CASP’s Units through Head Office. Therefore, donations received towards the end of the year are reflected as payables (to other Units) under current liabilities.

Fixed Assets & Investments: Fixed Assets in FY13 were at Rs17.1mn. The funds tied up in fixed assets ratio had declined from 28% in the previous year to 25% in FY13. CASP has only one owned office i.e. the Head Office in Pune and operates under a lease arrangement at Unit level. Investments were to the tune of Rs20mn in FY13 as against Rs17.5mn in FY12. All investments are made in the form of fixed deposits across five banks.

Current Assets: Current Assets excluding cash and bank balances in FY13 were at Rs21.8mn as against Rs17mn in FY12. Receivables from donors/government, receivables at Unit level from the Head Office, refund of excess tax paid forms large portion of current assets among other receivables.

Cash & Bank Balance: On a consolidated basis, liquid cash of Rs14.6mn was maintained at the end of FY13. Cash & Bank Balance maintained at Head office level was the highest, followed by CASP Pune Unit, CASP Pune Rural Unit and CASP Plan Delhi Unit. Such high cash balance was maintained because Units are required to pay of schools fees in advance i.e. during April.

  1. Sustainability Parameters:

Income Growth Rate: CASP’s y-o-y income growth has been very erratic since FY10. The 4-Year CAGR for FY10-FY13 was as low as 3%. The sluggish growth during FY10-FY12 is owing to phase out of mid-day meal programme in Delhi and two other community development programmes in Delhi and Mumbai each (Refer Fig. 3)

Self Sufficiency Ratio: CASP recorded a self-sufficiency ratio 35% in FY13 as against 43% in FY12. The decline is largely due to 23% increase in direct programme expenses, 19% increase in general staff salaries (salaries were revised with an intention to retain employees) and 22% increase in professional fees in FY13. Self-sufficiency ratio indicates ability of an organization to meets its expenses from its own funds.

Regular income from lease rentals: CASP’s Head Office in Pune is spread across ~14,000 sq.ft. area which is partially occupied by CASP and partially leased out to three tenants; one of them being HDFC Bank. The lease tenure with tenants is 5-9 years which yields 3-5% rental income each year.   

CASP maintains healthy relationships with several national/international organizations and state governments. CASP’s sponsorship programmes are collectively funded by State Government and individual donors. CASP raises funds through its partners like Plan International, Give India and Concern India Foundation. Highest contribution is raised through Plan International i.e. Rs39mn in FY13 (Refer Fig. 4) Donors include: AC International Child Support (Denmark), TDh Denmark, Enfant Du Monde (France), K.C. Mahindra Education Trust (India), Essar Group among many others. The organization executes a minimum three year MOU with most of its donors.

  1. Major Challenges:

Fund Raising: CASP’s total donor/sponsor base was as large as 481 in FY13. However, total funds raised through them was not adequate enough for CASP to be able to reach out to more children in other parts of India. CASP has no budgetary allocation for fund raising and therefore is unable to appoint a dedicated team for fund raising. Despite its presence for over three decades, the organization lacks visibility which limits their ability to attract donors.

Delay in receipt of funds: CASP receives a lump sum amount from the Maharashtra State Government and the Delhi State Government for sponsoring a child’s education. The funds are received after several follow ups and there has always been a delay of 8-10months. Such long delays put constraints on CASP’s overall liquidity position.

Lack of skilled social workers: Majority of CASP’s social workers are involved in community outreach programmes. As these programmes are time bound (2-3 years), the employees are required to leave CASP after every project is fully delivered. This results in loss of skilled employees and trained manpower.  

  1. Governance & Reporting Standards:

Board Composition & Committee Meetings: CASP has a very strong Board composed of ten eminent personalities from different walks of life. The Board of Trustees meet every six months. The Standing Committee (five member team) which is responsible overall operations of CASP meets once every quarter. The Governing Council (fourteen member team) meets once in every six months to provide strategic guidance to CASP. The Council is responsible to maintain relationships with all donors.

Control & Monitoring at Unit Level: CASP’s organization structure is well crafted with each Unit headed by a qualified and an experienced individual. The person heading each unit is also a member of one of the three committees of CASP. The reports are prepared at unit level and consolidated at the Head Office in Pune. Social workers appointed by CASP visit headmasters/school teachers and maintain progress reports for every child sponsored by CASP. Financial position of a child’s family is assessed and personal visits are made before enrolling a student onto CASP’s sponsorship programme. Reports stating financial position of the child’s family are retained for future reference.

Due diligence by Delhi and Maharashtra Government: Delhi Government has mandated Delhi based Mother NGO to conduct due diligence (DD) prior to disbursal made to CASP. Whereas, Maharashtra Government sends an in-house team to carry out DD. The results of DD has been satisfactory and they appreciate the robust reporting practices followed by CASP.

Working with Sponsors: Performance reports along with financial records of the child’s family are shared with sponsors annually. Course curriculum is also shared and frequent interaction between child and sponsor are held through letters, drawings and performance reports; enabling donors to guide and participate in their ward’s upbringing.

Accreditation: CASP is accredited by Credibility Alliance for its good governance practices. The organization is registered with Give India.

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