CHILDLINE India Foundation (CIF) is globally popular for introducing the first ever nationwide 24x7, free, emergency phone helpline service, ‘1098’ for children in distress in India. CIF interventions include protecting children from any form of abuse by connecting them with partner organisations who are equipped and well-networked to provide the child in need with quick access to police assistance, medical help, shelter, sponsorship, counselling, etc.
CIF is a project supported by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Government of India (GoI). Creating a child-friendly nation that guarantees Child Rights and Child Protection to every child is the vision of Founding Member, Ms. Jeroo Billimoria, former Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Sector and Positioning: 1098 is India’s first and only nationwide free emergency phone outreach service for children in need of protection and care from any form of abuse. Child Protection is a national agenda and with continuous support from GoI, corporate India, academic institutions and voluntary organisations, CIF is strongly placed to institutionalise a child-friendly nation. CIF has developed a very robust model that generates massive data which is analysed and used by law-makers to draft appropriate protection policies favouring children, or by non-profits to design suitable programmes for children in need of help.
Since inception, CIF has received over 30mn calls till date across India. The CIF model has been replicated in other countries like Egypt, Nepal, Kenya, etc.
Outcome: In nearly two decades, CIF has grown rapidly and has partnered with 500+ local NGOs spread across 280 cities in 29 states and 3 Union Territories. CIF operates a call centre with 45 attendants answering 15,000 calls on a daily basis. While the flagship project is to run the helpline service, CIF also conducts awareness sessions on Child Rights in public places.
Financial Performance: CIF posted 4-Year Income CAGR of 6% during FY10-FY14. CIF recorded its highest income of Rs102mn in FY12. Government funding has remained the major revenue contributor (5-Year avg. 60%) for CIF in past 5 years, followed by general donations (5-Year avg. 25%). CIF has consistently been spending 80%+ of total expenses on beneficiaries. It maintains a healthy, asset light balance sheet with less than 1% of total assets tied up in fixed assets in FY14. The balance sheet size at the end of FY14 was Rs335mn, up 27% YoY. Rapidly growing earmarked funds (56% 4-Year CAGR) and building trust corpus (4% 4-Year CAGR) suggests CIF’s strong financial performance.
Corporate Governance and Reporting Standards: CIF is a professionally run institution; following best practices across centres. It has developed a rigorous selection process to appoint partner NGOs/implementing partners. CIF has partnered with TCS for call management; tracking beneficiary profile and the type of help provided to each child. A data file for each beneficiary is created for record purposes. CIF has an active board consisting of 12 members participating in strategic decision making, fundraising and awareness building.
Major Challenges / Improvement Areas: Measuring impact, high attrition rate at call centres, creating awareness among children about their rights, and fundraising for projects other than the helpline service are some of the major challenges faced by CIF.
Childline India Foundation
Income & Expenditure Related
Total Income (Rs in million)
Income Growth Rate (3-Year CAGR)
Used for Beneficiaries (%)
Cost Per Beneficiary (Rs)
Fund Raising to Total Donations
Balance Sheet Related
Total Assets (Rs in million)
Fixed Assets to Total Assets
Investments to Total Assets
Corpus to Total Liabilities
Earmarked Funds to Total Liabilities
Beneficiary Spend (%)
3-Yr Income CAGR (%)
Foreign Funding (%)
Own Income (%)
Inst. Funding (%)
Fund Raising Exp. (%)
*Average based on category - Children
Public Trust Societies Act
Founder / CEO
Ms. Jeroo Billimoria
CIF Annual Reports
CIF Audit Reports & HYNGO Analysis
Spend on Beneficiaries
CIF Audit Reports & HYNGO Analysis
24*7 phone service reaching out to children in distress!
CIF is the crucial link between children in need of care and protection and the available services. For children with different needs, who call in anytime, anywhere, and for anything, CIF acts as a one-point contact; which facilitates instant access to support, advice, active intervention or just a listening ear. CIF connects children in emergency on one end of the phone line to a well-connected network of services – services that already exist. CIF builds no new shelter, no new hospital, and no new infrastructure.
Intervention involves a range of activities classified into direct and indirect interventions. Direct interventions involves providing support to children in need of medical, shelter, sponsorship, legal, restoration, protection & abuse, and missing cases. Whereas, indirect intervention offers emotional guidance, referral to services, confidence building and intervention follow up calls.
Direct intervention is provided through counsellors at Centralised Call Centre (CCC), a platform designed by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The call centre/helpline services operates from 3 locations with 45 call attendants: 15 each at Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. The Mumbai centre operates from BPO set up by TCS. Indirect interventions are offered through Collaborators, Nodal Agencies and Support Organisations (implementing NGOs) across India.
To be a qualified member of CIF, the applicant NGO must be working with children, have an income of atleast Rs1mn, and having human resources to carry out the project. CIF pays about Rs3-5 Lakhs annually to partner NGOs for implementing the helpline project. Salary paid to call attendants is in the range of Rs5,000 to Rs8,000.
For effectual functioning at city level, CIF has institutionalized ‘CHILDLINE Advisory Board (CAB)’ headed by the District Collector and other concerned individuals. CAB resolves issues highlighted by children during intervention sessions.4,046 open houses were held with children and about 146 city/district level CAB meetings were held in FY14.
Impact / Outcome
Impact / Outcome
About 2.5mn children benefit annually through CIF’s direct and indirect interventions.
Direct intervention cases addressed in FY14 were 4% (96,969) of total cases (2.6mn) v/s 96% indirect intervention cases. The ratio of direct to indirect intervention cases has remained almost the same since FY10.
It has collaborated with 750 schools across 35 cities covering student population of over a lakh. At schools, sessions are held to sensitize parents, teachers, caretakers and students.
CIF’s objective is to create a fear-free, child-friendly nation. To achieve this, CIF partners with allied system organisations who are active stakeholders of Child Protection. Some of the alliances of CIF had in FY14:
Anti-Human Trafficking Cell, Bhavnagar
District Child Labor Task Force, Raigarh
District Child Protection Society, Warangal
Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
Advocacy department and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Madhya Pradesh
Women and Child Development Department, Chittoor
State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Rajasthan
State Women Commission, West Bengal
Self-Sufficiency Ratio (SSR): CIF recorded SSR of 31% in FY14; lower than a 4-Year average SSR of 40% during FY10-FY13. Lower SSR in CIF’s case is justified as the organisation is largely dependent on external income sources. This is because CIF earns no income from services it renders to children. Own income sources which drives the SSR contributed only 30% to total revenue in FY14 v/s 70% by external sources for the same period
Income Growth Rate (IGR): Negative YoY growth of 20% and 13% in general donations and government income in FY14 respectively dragged the YoY IGR in FY14 to negative 13% from zero growth recorded in the previous year. The 20% drop in general donations in FY14 was largely owing to 84% drop in funds raised from individual donors through tele-marketing.
Repeat v/s New Donors: About 65-70% of donations come from CIF’s committed donors; assuring sound financial position of CIF for the near term. For the helpline service, CIF receives funding from MWCD; whereas funds for awareness drives and other initiatives are raised through non-government sources. CIF has an in-principle commitment from MWCD to financially support the helpline service for a long term; suggesting project sustainability.
Some of the CIF’s repeat donors include HDFC, HPCL, India Cements, HSBC, Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, Dorabji Tata Trust, Esther Benjamin Trust, UNICEF and others.
Used for Beneficiaries:Despite the significant drop in YoY income growth rate, CIF has managed to retain the beneficiary spent at a level of 82% in FY14; same as the 4-year average during FY10-FY13. Maintaining same level of beneficiary spend can be attributed to planned cash flows by building earmarked funds.
Overhead to Total Expenses: For FY14, the overheads doubled owing to increase in the rental expenses (Rs6.9mn in FY14 from Rs3.1mn in FY13).The sharp rise in rental was owing to setting up region-wise centres across India. Overheads to total expenses increased from 10% in FY13 to 14% in FY14.
Fundraising to Total Expenses: Fundraising cost (FR) declined by 75% (Rs5mn in FY13 vs Rs0.8mn in FY14); on account of 84% cut on tele-marketing expenses. The cut in tele-marketing cost has directly affected the top line of CIF; particularly from receipts from individual donors. FR at the end of FY14 was only 1.4% on total expenses. CIF expects this to rise drastically in future (up to 30%), as CIF plans to tap the retail donor community through multiple fund raising efforts.
Day’s Cash Ratio (DCR): As of year ending FY14, CIF’s had a very comfortable DCR of 1,030 days (~3 years) which meant that CIF had cash and cash equivalents required to run operations for atleast 3 years. CIF has only 1% of balance sheet size tied up in illiquid assets.
Current Ratio (CR): With 57% YoY increase in current assets during FY14, the CR advanced from 4.7x in FY13 to 6.5x in FY14.
Board Composition & Role
Founding member Ms. Jeroo Billimoria is a former TISS professor and is known across the globe for seeding the CHILDINE model in India.
TFI has a strong Governing Body comprising of 12 active members. All members are involved in fundraising, strategic decision making and awareness building. No remuneration is paid to Governing Board Members.
CIF has formed a Management Committee consisting of 4 trustees, who are heading four departments – finance, operations, resource mobilization and community development.
CIF’s annual reports are detailed giving an insight into number of calls attended, nature of interventions made, region-wise activities held, etc
Case sheets for every child is saved virtually for follow-up interventions.
Findings of call analysis through raw data generated from CCC is shared with policy makers, NGOs, schools, and other stakeholders annually to take appropriate measures based on the trends observed.
The financial statements are audited and are available in the public domain.
Good Governance Practises
All members meet twice a year. Quorum set for board meetings is one-third.
Election takes place every three years according to the Board Rotation policy
CIF maintains high level of transparency by updating their donors regularly through some of the social media platforms like facebook, emails, twitter, etc
Fund raising for awareness projects: Donors are wary of allocating funds in strategic manner for planning annual awareness drives as the outcome is uncertain and difficult to quantify.
Measuring Impact: Historically, 96% of calls received annually are beneficiaries of CIF’s indirect interventions. It is difficult to track the emotional health and well-being of a child after the call ends. CIF probably has an update on only 4% of beneficiaries having received direct interventions.