Ajit Dayal, the founder of HelpYourNGO, has leveraged his vast experience in capital markets to start this non-profit organisation. Ajit has been a pioneer in equity research in India and has been a catalyst in allowing Indian companies to raise capital from foreign institutional investors (FIIs). Over the past two decades, companies and partnerships set up by Ajit Dayal have helped foreigners invest over US$ 5 billion in the Indian capital markets.
The investment recommendations made to the FIIs were based on research. This required building a database to capture information and analyse that data in order to help make a better investment decision.
Before investments were made on behalf of the FIIs Ajit analysed the companies and other factors such as:
The quality of the people running the company.
What did the company plan to do with the money it raised and was the money finally used for what it was supposed to?
Did the company have any wasteful expenditure and how did these expenditures compare with the competition?
I.V. Subramaniam (“Subbu”), the CEO of Quantum Advisors and its subsidiary Quantum AMC (“Quantum Mutual Funds”) and Rahul Goel, who runs www.equitymaster.com and www.PersonalFn.com are now using their past experience to help build HelpYourNGO.
Pradeep Mahtani was appointed as CEO of HelpYourNGO in 2013. He has 23 years of experience in analyzing stocks in organisations such as Quantum Financial Services, Jardine Fleming/JPMorgan, ASK-Raymond James and Citigroup.
Is charity giving like investing?
So what does the world of investments have to do with giving money to charity?
To help give to those who are spending their lives for various causes?
What is the connection between building a database for stock markets and a noble cause like setting up and running a charity?
As it turns out - a lot.
Money is scarce.
There are plenty of people out there who need money so that they can help others. So we give you, as a user of www.HelpYourNGO.com a wide choice of which kind of charity you wish to help.
But money should go where it has the most effect, the largest impact. So we have given you tools to see how your money is spent by different charities and NGOs.
Wouldn’t you like to know how much of the money you donated actually reaches the noble cause you gave it for?
What if you knew that Charity A was spending 30% of the money it raised on promotional activities and only 70% was getting to the final noble cause that the charity was set up for?
And that Charity B, set up for the similar noble cause as Charity A, spent less than 10% of the money it raised on similar activities allowing 90% of what you donate to be used to reach where you intended it to reach?
Which charity would you like to give your money to: Charity A or Charity B?
Which charity would you like to devote your spare time if you had time to spare and ideas to share: Charity A or Charity B?
More information leads to a race towards more transparency?
In addition to being able to select from a wide variety of charities that you may wish to give your money to, we also believe that HelpYourNGO will force the charities to shape up. The increased transparency in seeing the financials of their charities on this web site will force the charities to become more efficient and utilize their limited resources better.
We saw this in the cement industry.
Power and fuel costs are a significant cost for the manufacture of cement. When we began to ask one particular cement company why their costs were higher than their competitors, the cement company immediately realised that an external agency was studying them – this acted as a catalyst to convert themselves into a more efficient user of energy and reduce their cost of producing cement.
Comparing administrative costs will also, in our view, force charities to be more efficient. Every rupee saved on administration, is an extra rupee for the cause that charity is trying to help.
Numbers cannot deal with the human or qualitative element, but questions can be asked.
But a database on charities has limitations. Numbers, we acknowledge, cannot reflect everything.
We know that it costs less for an NGO to employ a person in Bihar compared to a employee in Bombay city. Therefore, some of the expense and administration ratios may be skewed when one compares a charity in Bihar with a charity in Bombay – even if the two charities are doing the same thing.
And some charities within the same broad group (for example, charities that help children) have different objectives: one may give children only day school facilities and food; another may also give the children a place to stay at night. This would influence the expense numbers, the quality of help given, and the number of people benefited may differ.
Yet, knowing these limitations of numbers, we continued.
After all some information is better than none.
Armed with numbers, a donor can always ask for clarifications.
One can always improve the quality of the database as time goes on.
Analyzing companies and annual reports is not a perfect science.
Brilliant people have been analyzing that annual reports of listed companies for centuries and still make mistakes and errors of judgement. The accounting profession continuously strives to improve the standards of disclosure in an annual report so that the date better reflects its true position. We will let the research analysts in the equity stock markets find their analytical nirvana.
Meanwhile, we hope that HelpYourNGO.com will help you find your nirvana by sharing some of what you have with those who need it.