Samhita Social Ventures has worked on large spectrum of projects with diverse mandates from clients. Our cause-agnostic approach and emphasis on social impact drives our ability to fully understand a client’s requirement and design programs that lead to both fulfillment of the client’s mandate as well as maximum social benefits on-ground.
Implementation partners of TechCamps in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai
Samhita worked as an implementation partner for a series of TechCamps held in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. We also collaborated with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to organize a PeaceTech Exchange in Mumbai. TechCamps are a program run by the U.S. State Department’s Civil Society (CS) 2.0 initiative – an effort to galvanize the technology community to assist civil society organizations (CSOs) across the globe by providing capabilities, resources and assistance to harness the latest information and communications technology (ICT) to build digital capacity.
TechCamps saw participation from NGO leaders, students, media persons and technology experts who have revolutionized the social space with effective use of technology. All participants underwent hands-on training on technology solutions that will address specific issues they face in the course of their work.
Samhita was involved in the end-to-end management of the workshops, starting from conducting outreach to NGOs for applications, heading the intensive logistics required for an event of this scale as well as developing all communications material such as the website, brochures, booklet, social media outreach etc. We also played a key role in scouting for experts and trainers and making connections with eminent people to endorse the initiative.
Co-organized the Philanthropy Leadership Confluence
Samhita partnered with the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy to organize the Philanthropy Leadership Confluence in Mumbai. This confluence saw leading institutional, individual and corporate donors come together and take the first step towards forming a network by donors for donors. This was an exercise to seek recommendations from a diverse set of donors and sector intermediaries on the goals and activities of the network and an invitation to help them co-create the network.
This confluence was attended by a diverse set of individual donors, Indian and international foundations, sector intermediaries as well as social investors to debate and discuss how donors can collaborate to ensure the greatest social impact. Key speakers at this event included Rohini Nilekani, the Founder and Chairperson of Arghyam and Pratham Books, Ms. Paula Johnson, the Vice President of The Philanthropic Initiative, Vijay Mahajan, Chairman, BASIX and President, Micro Finance Institutions Network, Noshir H. Dadrawala, Chief Executive of CAP and Priya Naik, Founder and Joint MD of Samhita.
As a co-organizer, Samhita was involved in setting the agenda after extensive interviews with sector experts and key philanthropists, identifying significant contributors and driving logistics of the event.
Managing the application process for awards by companies and foundations
Samhita Social Ventures has worked with several corporate and philanthropic foundations to play an instrumental role in facilitating awards to recognize outstanding work for a particular cause. These include the EdelGive Social Innovation Honours given by the EdelGive Foundation, the EIFI Grants for Innovation in Education and the Hari Chopra Social Awards by the Trust of the same name. These awards gave away a sum of Rs.4 crore ($800,000) to NGOs that are doing path-breaking work in selected fields.
Samhita played a key role in the process and outcome of these awards. We provided end-to-end services to ensure that the initiatives were conducted in the most efficient manner and the most deserving NGOs received the award. This included designing the application form as well as helping set broad requirements and selection criteria. The application forms were hosted online on the Samhita portal and outreach was conducted among Samhita’s network of 38,000 NGOs. Intensive support was provided to prospective applicants and we also helped in final selection. We ensured the disbursement of the award and followed up to confirm its responsible usage. In all cases, the number of applications went up by more than double compared to previous occasions due to Samhita’s intervention. The EdelGive Awards, for example, received 675 applications within a short period of 2 months.
Building capacity of an NGO for sustainability
A US-based philanthropic foundation employed Samhita as consultants to work with a Gujarat-based education NGO to enable them to raise funds, scale up operations and develop new models. The foundation was funding the NGO for almost two decades and is currently planning to phase out support to fund other initiatives. Hence, it wanted to build capacity of the NGO so that they could become sustainable. Samhita was brought in to work closely with the founder and top leadership of the NGO to help achieve this goal.
Our involvement in the project was manifold. To begin with, we created a detailed fundraising strategy to sustain their existing rural education programs. Next, we created communications collateral aimed at addressing different constituencies of donors such as corporates, foundations and individuals. We visited Gujarat to observe NGO operations, interview the beneficiaries and communities and capture high-quality images and impact stories. We also set up a website for the program replete with fundraising capabilities. Brochures and banners were created for campaigns held during usual giving seasons such as Diwali in India and Thanksgiving and Christmas in the US. Connections were made to solicit corporate donations.
For the new model started by the NGO in the form of a social enterprise, Samhita played a key role in preparing the business plan, working out the financials, helping out with recruitment of key staff, defining the service offerings and target constituencies. We also helped connect the NGO leadership to several successful education models across India for learning best practices and potential replication opportunities.
Implementation partners for the IDEX Fellowship
The IDEX Fellowship is a program that brings together young people from across the world to work for a year with social enterprises across India. IDEX Fellows are young achievers with considerable passion for making social change. The IDEX Fellowship is an offering of Gray Matters Capital.
Samhita Social Ventures was the implementation partner for the IDEX Fellowship in Mumbai. This entailed screening and selection of social enterprises in the city, conducting due diligence, ensuring placement of IDEX fellows in appropriate social enterprises, performing reviews and milestone checks for the fellows, collecting feedback from all parties involved and finally, reporting progress and impact at regular intervals. Samhita worked closely with the Class of 2013 of IDEX fellows to aid them in successful completion of their program and helped set norms and streamline processes for GMC to make the program sustainable.
Fundraising partners of Vodafone’s RRR campaign
Samhita was the fundraising partner of Vodafone Foundation’s Red Rickshaw Revolution campaign that took place in the 3 weeks leading up to International Women’s Day on 8th March 2013. The campaign aimed to raise funds for NGOs working to address teething issues faced by women from marginalized communities by providing them with vocational training and employment opportunities.
All donations for the campaign from Indian entities came in through Samhita’s online donation portal, owned by our parent organization, Nadathur Trust. Receipts were duly issued to all donors. We also received donations in cheques. We reached out to our database of donors to solicit donations and promoted the campaign on our social networks. At the end of the campaign, we were responsible for disbursement of the raised funds to the beneficiary NGOs. The campaign raised a total of Rs.22 lakhs for its three beneficiary NGOs.