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Marketing and communication services for NGOs and social enterprises

Re-imagine the way in which you present your story to the world and engage your supporters.

Our expert Communications team is currently working with several NGOs to revamp their branding and redefine the way in which they reach out to donors, sponsors and supporters. We are happy to extend this service to you too. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to revolutionize the way the world sees you. With the right messages, you can inspire thousands to join your cause today.

•       Position your organization as credible and transparent, and showcase the wonderful impact you create
•       Develop branding and communication material that stand out among those of your peers
•       Promote your cause and impact through social media, online channels and other innovative ways

To know more, email us at [email protected]

Request for Proposals from Social Organizations working in Uttar Pradesh

Deadline: July 7, 2014

Our client, a large automotive and farm equipment manufacturing company operating across the country, is looking to partner with Social Organizations (NGOs and/or social enterprises) for its CSR activities. The organization must be:

Eligibility Criteria

  • The organization must be located in Uttar Pradesh
  • The organization must be working in either Gorakhpur, Hapur, Mahrajagunj, Mirzapur or Agra
  • The organization must be operational for a minimum of 3 years
  • The organization must be registered as a non-profit that implements social development projects in India, with no religious or political affiliations
  • The organization’s physical address must be verifiable
  • The organization must have a valid 80G and 12A
  • The organization must have an Executive Board that maintains budgets, annual activity reports and audited financial statements. These yearly records must be available and submitted upon request

If your organization fits the criteria, please provide us with your organizational details in the form.


Request for Proposals from social organizations working in Alwar or Dausa districts, Rajasthan

Deadline: June 28, 2014 (Saturday)

Time: 12:00pm

Our client, a large automotive and farm equipment manufacturing company operating across the country, is looking to partner with Social Organizations (NGOs and/or social enterprises) for its CSR activities. The organization must be:

1) Working in the districts of Dausa and/or Alwar (Rajasthan)
2) Registered and in operation for a minimum of 3 years

If your organization fits the criteria, please provide us with your organizational details in the form.

Charting a sustainable path towards development through community participation

As part of its CSR services, Samhita Social Ventures undertakes community needs assessment for companies to align the expectations and intentions of the company with priorities identified by the community that it seeks to benefit as a key stakeholder. This is accomplished by conducting door-to-door surveys, interviews with key informants in the village (such as sarpanch, asha worker, aanganwadi workers) and focused group discussions with the residents.

Through our intense and in-depth interaction with communities across the country, we have realized that community participation and acceptance are critical in ensuring the success of CSR programs. While the theoretical discourse on development has always acknowledged the importance of participatory approach (you may have heard of Robert Chambers and Paulo Freier), this takes on a pragmatic connotation for companies beginning to think about CSR in India.

Our work has shown that the aim should be to address social implications of corporate activities by securing community participation in decision-making and consideration of local knowledge and the environment. The community should drive and own these initiatives. Any tendency to superimpose or force CSR or other development initiatives top-down on communities could be disastrous.

So for example, during one such assessment in two clusters of Vadodara District, Gujarat it was observed that 87% people defecate openly every day. While reducing open defecation is a national and international priority, it was most interesting to note that communities in one cluster did not perceive it to be an issue. The assessment found that these communities defecated in the open not only because of the unavailability of toilets but due to low awareness of the potential health hazards, internalized behavior, accustomed practice, perception of high costs of maintaining and constructing toilets, caste based differences in terms of maintenance and cleaning, etc. It was seen that these communities appeared resistant to using toilets because of all these reasons. In this context, CSR initiatives of companies to set-up toilets for such communities to eliminate open defecation, disregarding the voices of the community, would be futile and bound to fail. The company would have, in effect, spent its funds putting up concrete structures with its branding – not used by anyone and soon falling into a state of disrepair and neglect. In fact, this is a very common sight in many villages dotted across India. One of the ways to then incorporate the community’s views and mitigate the risk of failure would be to start a behavior change communication or campaign on a long term and sustained basis. Another example flows from the needs assessment conducted in northern India. The study revealed rampant usage of traditional fuel for cooking. About 83% of people relied on cow-dung and wood as the means of cooking.  It was obvious to our eyes that this was leading to many respiratory problems among women and also causing indoor pollution. Surprisingly, the women did not seem to be too bothered. When we suggested using smokeless chullahs or stoves, most of them thought it to be flippant. Conversations with these women revealed that they preferred these smoke generating stoves because they believed that it kept the house warm, drove away insects etc. They said that they were accustomed to cooking in this way.  It is anyone’s guess as to what the results of a CSR initiative distributing free smokeless stoves to a community like this would be. Promoting smokeless chulhas in such households becomes challenging unless their beliefs are changed.

A similar reaction was observed in another needs assessment study when a group of women said they did not want personal taps and that they preferred community pumps as it was the only activity that gave them a chance to come out of their houses and socialize with other women.

In conclusion, we opine that CSR initiatives by companies or social developmental activities by NGOs should be planned in a participatory manner, in consultation with the community, literally sitting with them, and gauging their basic needs. We must take recourse to “participatory rural appraisal” and other mapping tools to identify the community needs. This, in turn, results in greater outreach and smoother implementation. And thus, a project is born.

[The Economic Times] Start-ups & online portals advising companies on how to invest strategically in CSR

Samhita Social Ventures is featured in this Economic Times article which profiles its business model as well as its online networking portal – the CSR Marketplace.

The CSR Marketplace is a platform for companies, social enterprises and NGOs to engage and interact with one another, thereby laying the foundations for long-term partnerships around business as well as social development initiatives.

To read the full article,  click here