Why are EdelGive Foundation's Social Innovation Honors such an effective way for corporates to create impact?
by Anushree Jasani, Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy
(We would like to thank the EdelGive Foundation for their cooperation in putting this article together)
The issue of CSR has been gaining momentum on the Indian corporate landscape in recent years. A majority of successful companies have made investing in social development amongst their top priorities. Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. is one such company. The company’s philanthropic arm, the EdelGive Foundation, aims to leverage the resources of the Edelweiss group for the benefit and empowerment of the social sector. It seeks to enrich and broaden the impact of entrepreneurial activities of non-profits in India.
In 2008, EdelGive launched a unique awards programme called the EdelGive Social Innovation Honours. The vision of the programme is to recognize, promote and support outstanding organizations that are catalysing positive social change in the area of women empowerment across India.
Through the awards, EdelGive aims to raise awareness of issues around women, support organizations working on innovative projects and promote sharing and learning of these ideas among the private and public sectors. The annual award programme selects winners across four categories- Education, Health and Wellbeing, Economic Security and Livelihood and Rights and Representation. A monetary prize of about Rs. 50 lakhs is awarded to the winners across the four categories. The award money is unrestricted for organizations to allocate based on online casinos their priorities. Moreover, EdelGive continues to work with the winners after the award is disbursed and supports them with building capacity.
Knowing the sector
The awards serve as a great way through which EdelGive can source worthy organizations for funding. They provide the foundation with access to a pool of non-profits. Furthermore, as the awards are granted based on very specific criteria, EdelGive can find organizations that fit in with its values and principles. This becomes particularly relevant in a landscape such as India that has more than 3 million NGOs. It also allows for EdelGive to gain sector knowledge, and better understand the needs and challenges of NGOs in India.
EdelGive partners with organizations such as Ernst and Young (E&Y) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), which are considered to be amongst the best in their respective fields, for the awards. E&Y tabulates all the applications at each stage of the process. TISS uses its expertise to effectively evaluate organizations through field research and assign them with scores, on the basis on which they are appraised. The involvement of EdelGive’s partners infuses transparency and credibility to the awards process.
Process – keep it easy and clean
The awards use a standardized template by means of a common application form. This enables visibility and easy comparability. The selection process through which winners are chosen is thorough and rigorous. In addition, care is taken to ensure an independent evaluation of applicants sans any nepotism or bias. This is done by the institution of an internal as well as external jury. The internal jury consists of sector experts, while the external jury is made of prominent members from the corporate, media and social sectors.
Opening up new opportunities
Since representatives of the shortlisted candidates make a presentation to the external jury, this acts as an excellent platform for them to connect with and showcase their work to a larger audience of potential donors, thereby leading to funding from other quarters. Moreover, the awards create great publicity for the foundation over the 6 months time-span between when applications are pooled and the winners announced, and often draws the attention of other like-minded donors who follow suit in corporate giving.
To sum up, the EdelGive Social Innovation Honours has been an extremely successful programme. The award process is very well designed and efficient. The awards work as a tool to encourage and motivate NGOs to stay committed to creating social reform in whatever way they can. Through the awards, EdelGive is one step closer to achieving its overarching objective of making a positive difference to the lives of the women of India.