NGO Insights: Mentaid

Dated : 20 Mar 2014
  1. Sector and Positioning:

Mentaid is a twenty-eight year old NGO providing comprehensive support to mentally challenged children and adults in Kolkata. Mentaid was the first NGO in West Bengal exclusively formed by parents of mentally handicapped children. The organisation takes pride in positioning itself as a ‘Parent’s Organisation’. Mentaid Special School and Vocational Training Centre, owned and managed by the NGO, collectively accommodates 85 children and adults. The annual cost per beneficiary ranges between Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000. Nearly 50% of children benefitting from Mentaid’s programmes belong to marginalized families in and around the city.

Mentaid is a very active organisation; conducting several awareness programmes throughout the year. The NGO has visitors, delegates, volunteers participating in programmes from different parts of the globe. Mentaid has been working as a pressure group at the state level to highlight the needs of people with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities. Mentaid is a Member of Parivaar-National Confederation of Parents Organisations and Disability Activists Forum.

  1. Financial Parameters:
  • Total Income: Mentaid is a mid-sized NGO with a total income of Rs4.2mn in FY13. Y-o-Y total income declined marginally by 3% in FY13. The decline can be attributed to significant drop in Y-o-Y income from government sources (-78%) and donations (-57%). However, this decline in income was compensated by an increase in income generated from other revenue streams (mainly foreign sources); thus maintaining Mentaid’s overall income level with a marginal Y-o-Y difference of 3% in FY13. 

About 80%-85% of total funds received from the state government are for 2-3 year projects, or for vocational training. During FY13, these government funded courses were fully implemented and thus the overall receipts from the government reduced.

Major revenue contributors for FY13 include foreign sources (62%), followed by sales & sponsorship (13%). Other revenue contributors were interest income (12%) and membership/service charges (5%).

  • Income from Foreign Sources: Income from foreign sources for Mentaid reached its highest level in past 4 years; crossing Rs2.5mn i.e. 62% of total income in FY13. The growth is owing to continued support from international entities like PwC, Liliane Stichting Fonds (Netherlands) and others.

In FY13, the NGO has taken the grant received from Liliane Stichting Fonds directly in balance sheet without routing it through the income & expenditure statement. Following the recommended practice laid out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, we have added this grant of Rs0.8m as income in FY13. However, after taking this adjustment the total income increased from Rs3.4mn in FY12 to Rs4.2mn in FY13; the Y-o-Y total income growth then works out to 3% (22% growth pre-adjustment). 

  • Income from Sales & Sponsorship: Despite significant drop observed in various income sources, one must not lose sight of Mentaid’s increasing income from Sales & Sponsorship. Income from this source has grown steadily at an impressive growth rate of 35%-45% each year since FY10. The sustained growth is owning to dedicated efforts of trainers and students at the Vocational Training Centre. Each year, new products are added to the portfolio and sold during different events organized by the NGO. The products sold by Mentaid include: detergent powder, liquid detergent, phenyl and hand wash liquid.
  • Direct Programme Expenses: During FY13, Rs3.6mn i.e. 83% of total expenses was incurred to conduct programme related activities. Out of Rs3.6mn, 6% i.e. Rs0.28mn was paid as salaries/honorarium to employees and volunteers directly involved in training children and adults (Refer Fig. 2)

Mentaid has performed better in managing its total direct programme expenses v/s NGOs listed with HYNGO in the similar space. NGOs in the ‘disabled’ category registered with HYNGO posted an average of 70-75% of total expenses on direct programme costs for the past 2 financial years; whereas, Mentaid spent above 80% on direct programme costs during the same period.

  • Trust Corpus & Earmarked Funds: Mentaid, has been cautiously putting aside funds each year to build its trust corpus. The corpus at the end of FY13 was Rs4.6mn, up by 5% Y-o-Y. Earmarked Funds for the same period rose significantly at Rs2.4mn i.e. Y-o-Y increase of 151%. During FY13, Mentaid made concentrated efforts to raise funds to increase its corpus as well as earmarked funds for speedy execution of its expansion plans. A dedicated ‘Property Fund’ was created to support the construction cost of the proposed new building. The Property Fund as on FY13 was Rs8.2mn; recording 16% Y-o-Y increase.
  • Accumulated Deficits & Unutilized Grants: Mentaid, on a consolidated basis had recorded deficits each year since FY09. These deficits were carried forward until FY12. The accumulated deficits at the end of FY12 was Rs3.5mn. During FY13, Mentaid set-off its deficits with the unutilized grants of Rs3.5mn in FY12; thus reducing its accumulated deficits Rs0.2mn in FY13. The unutilized grants stood at Rs0.5mn at the end of FY13.
  • Fixed Assets & Investments: Fixed Assets posted Y-o-Y increase of 19%, i.e. from Rs5.3mn in FY12 to Rs6.3mn in FY13. The Y-o-Y increase of approximately Rs1mn was on account of purchase of land during FY13. The land purchased is a part of the NGO’s strategic decision to expand Mentaid’s facilities. The funds tied up in fixed assets for the period FY10-FY13 has been less than 37% v/s sector average of 45% for the same period. However, this ratio is likely to rise in the subsequent financial years as Mentaid is in the process of constructing a new building.

Long term investments at the end of FY13 were Rs8.2mn, i.e. 49% hike from the previous year. The investment in deposits has grown at a 4-CAGR of 13%; ensuring healthy liquidity position in the coming years.

  1. Sustainability Parameters:
  • Income Growth Rate: Mentaid recorded a healthy 4-Year income CAGR of 17% for the period FY10-FY13. The jump in donations from foreign sources in FY12 boosted the organisation’s total income from Rs2.8mn in FY11 to Rs4.3mn in FY13.
  • High Self Sufficiency Ratio: The organisation’s self-sufficiency ratio improved marginally from 35% in FY12 to 40% in FY13. This is owing to better control & management of funds received in FY13. Self-sufficiency ratio indicates ability of an organization to meets its expenses from its own funds such as income from individual donors, interest income, sales & sponsorship.
  • Dynamic profile of donors: It is noteworthy that NGO is not dependent on a specific profile of donors. Mentaid has managed to sustain their ability of reaching out to various categories of donors each year; thus ensuring better sustainability by minimizing the risk of over dependency on a specific category of donors.
  1. Major Challenges:
  • Inadequate Funds: Currently, Mentaid has limited infrastructure facilities and is therefore unable to accept new enrollments. The NGO has initiated construction of G+1 building to increase its accommodation facilities. Due to limited financial support, the project is not progressing at the desired pace. The cost of project is approximately Rs30mn. The organisation has used its own funds to acquire land and is now seeking financial support (Rs7mn) to complete the project.
  1. Governance & Reporting Standards:

The Board is composed of parents of mentally challenged children and committed individuals from various fields. The organisation has a separate Governing Council and an Advisory Board. The members meet every quarter. A quarterly report and a newsletter is published summarizing activities carried out during that period and is circulated to donors, members and well-wishers.

Other than donations received, Mentaid documents details of every event held, visitors to their campus, their suggestions and feedback. All these details are well captured in Mentaid’s Annual Report.

Mentaid was among the three NGOs in India recognized by Inclusion International for its good practices, parent’s initiatives, resource management and self-advocacy. Mentaid is registered with United Way. The registration with other accreditation organisations is in process.

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