NGO Insights: Women's Emancipation and Development Trust

Dated : 09 April 2014
  1. Sector and Positioning:

Women’s Emancipation and Development (WED) Trust is over two decades old. It is an NGO working for women adversely affected by domestic violence. WED was the first NGO in Madurai district to liberate women and the girl child from the increasing gender differences that existed in the district. WED, formed by a group of four women social activists, strives to build a gender just society. WED’s contribution in preventing female infanticide and foeticide in the district has been significant.

Several developmental activities and capacity building sessions are hosted throughout the year to empower women and girl children in all spheres of life. Activities are focused on education, vocational training and intervention programmes. Microcredit is extended to differently abled and elderly citizens. Self Help Groups are formed to make women financially independent. Workshops on gender sensitization are frequently conducted by the organisation. WED has also taken positive steps to improve the health and sanitation in the district.

During fiscal year 2013, about 10,552 residents of the village benefitted from various programmes conducted by WED. Average cost spent by WED for the past 4 years (FY10-13) on each direct beneficiary was Rs1,850.

  1. Financial Parameters:
  • Total Income: WED’s total income for FY13 shrunk by 5% from the previous year. Total income in FY13 was Rs1.94mn to Rs2.0mn in FY12. The decline can be attributed to 87% drop in income from Non Government Funding Agencies (NGFA). Income from NGFA in FY13 stood at Rs84,295 v/s Rs0.62mn in FY12.

56% of total income in FY13 was raised from local donors; whereas the balance 44% was received from foreign sources. Historical data for the past 4 years indicate that WED has received increasing financial support from foreign sources each year. Contribution from foreign sources has grown at a 4-Year CAGR of 43% for the period FY10-FY13.  

  • Programme Expenses: Rs1.1mn i.e. 54% of total expenses in FY13 was incurred towards direct programme activities. In addition to this, Rs0.18mn i.e. 9.3% of total expenses was paid as programme salary to staff directly involved in executing the core programme activities. Putting both these cost items together, WED spent 63% i.e. Rs1.29mn on its total direct programme cost in FY13. The NGOs with similar focus area as WED Trust listed with HYNGO had incurred about 80% of their expenses on total direct programme expenses.

  • Beneficiaries: WED had to slash down the number of beneficiaries it catered to in the past few years. This was due to sluggish growth in its total income. Total number of beneficiaries dropped by 35% in FY13 i.e. 10,552 in FY13 from 16,259 in FY12.

  • Overhead, Travel & Other Expenses: Overhead expenses incurred during FY13 shot up to 10% of total expenses as against only 2% in FY12. Rs0.2mn was spent on overheads in FY13 v/s Rs37,416 in the previous year. During FY13, WED hosted local conferences to spread awareness among potential beneficiaries about their new initiatives like Self Help Groups, Micro Credit for Differently Abled, Eco-San toilets. This resulted in a substantial increase in printing & stationary cost & meeting costs; pulling up the total overhead cost in FY13.  

Travel expenses for FY13 increased 3x from the previous year. The increase is attributed to the sharp hike in fuel cost and local travel. Other expenses of Rs0.1mn in FY12 include write off of the demolished building.

  • Trust Corpus: WED has made conscious efforts over the years to build a healthy Trust corpus. Trust corpus as on FY13 was Rs2.4mn v/s Rs1.8mn in FY12. Trust Corpus has grown at a 4-Year CAGR of 45% for the period FY10-FY13.

  • Fixed Assets: Fixed Assets increased by 18% during FY13 i.e. from Rs1.8mn to Rs2.1mn. During FY13, WED constructed an office cum short stay home and added a new floor to carry out their programme activities. Other additions to fixed assets were purchase of new computers (2 units), projector and setting up a module ‘public awareness system’. All these additions resulted in an 18% increase in Fixed Assets.                     
  1. Sustainability Parameters:
  • Income Growth Rate: The income growth rate for the last two years has slowed down dramatically for WED. The growth rate for FY12 and FY13 was -2% and -5% respectively from a healthy growth rate of 36% witnessed in FY11. WED posted a 4-Year income CAGR of only 8% for the period FY10-FY13. The sluggish income growth trend is owing to WED’s limited efforts to spend more time and resources on networking and signing on new donors.

  • Self Sufficiency Ratio (SSR): SSR is a financial indicator that measures capability of an organisation to meet its expenses from their own funds like individual donations, service charges/membership fees, interest income etc. WED’s SSR for FY13 improved marginally to 55% v/s 38% in FY12.

  • Donor Profile: WED, since past four years have been largely dependent on individual donors and foreign sources. Average contribution received from each of both these income streams has roughly been about 30%-35% for past four years. Individual and foreign contribution accounted for 94% of WED’s FY13 total income.

It is desirable that WED capitalizes soon on its relationship with existing partners (state/local government and other funding agencies) and diversify its donor profile in order to build a financially sustainable organisation. 

  1. Major Challenges:
  • Donor relationship: Despite having a qualified staff base, maintaining relationships with donors and developing new donor network has always remained a challenge for WED. This is owing to poor communication skills observed among the staff members. WED doesn’t have enough funds currently to be able to develop a strong fund raising/communication team and are inviting donors to fund personnel cost for the fund raising/communication team.
  1. Governance & Reporting Standards:

The Board consists of qualified local social workers having rich experience in resolving female foeticide and infanticide cases by offering regular counselling to families. The Board of Trustees are actively involved in the operations of the organisation. They have a team of five board members that take decisions collectively. Board meetings are conducted twice in a year. Minutes of the meetings held are circulated to all trustees.

Annual Reports and Audited financial statements are shared with all associated partners. WED is listed with GiveIndia and GuideStar India. They are associated with other state & local government bodies too.

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