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Live Webinar on how to raise funds from USAID

Date: January 14, 2016

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a major source of funds and partnership opportunities for NGOs around the world. USAID’s funding resources support a wide range of issues areas: agriculture and food security; democracy and human rights; education; global health; environment and global climate change; gender equality; and more.

Despite this, many NGOs often do not apply for funding with USAID because of the complexity and highly competitive nature of the USAID grant system. The funding guidelines can be difficult to understand, instructions are complicated, and the application form can be difficult to follow. But this should not deter NGOs from trying. With some time and effort, it is possible to understand the grant system and apply for USAID grants successfully.

This entry-level webinar will help NGOs identify and apply to USAID request for applications and grant opportunities.

Who can Participate

This course is ideally suited to NGO staff around the world who want to learn more about applying for USAID funding, executive directors/NGO managers who are responsible for donor relations, and, individuals who want to develop their professional skills and effectiveness.

Click here to register for the webinar.

[Livemint] Govt cancels licences of 2,406 NGOs

In a fresh move, the government has cancelled the licences of 2,406 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the country, which includes entities that run schools and hospitals.

Read the full article here.

Peace Tech Exchange Mumbai: Tackling gender-based violence through technology

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a persistent problem in India, taking multiple forms in both public and private spaces –sexual harassment on the streets and in offices, emotional and sexual exploitation of wives and daughters at home, mistreatment of sex workers by the authorities and so on.

A study by the United Nations Population Fund and the International Center for Research on Women reported that in India, 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual abuse.  60% of the men in the study admitted to committing some kind of emotional, economic, physical or sexual abuse against their partners. Furthermore, sexual harassment in public places is so common that most women accept it as part of their daily existence. To make this worse there are no specific laws in the Indian Penal Code directly related to street sexual harassment; the only provisionsare concerned with public obscenity or offending the modesty of women.An increase in cellphoneusage and the Internethaveprovided new channels that promote such behaviour.

At the same time, technology can be a critical component in the movement against gender-based violence.

To explore and realize the potential of technology in the fight against GBV, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in collaboration with the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai and Samhita Social Ventures organized the PeaceTech Exchange (PTX) Mumbai on the 6th and 7th of December 2014,which focused on Gender-based Violence.

PeaceTech Exchanges are workshops where technologists interact with civil society organizations to identify technological solutions for some of the most pressing development challenges.Participants are introduced to a broad array of tools to enhance their impact. It also fosters long-term partnerships between the organizations and the technologists.

The two-day event in Mumbai saw the participation of over 40 civil society representatives from over 35 organizations working to address gender-based violence across India.

14 technology experts trained participants in the use of the latest tech platforms to enable them to collect, represent and share data, raise awareness, mobilize supporters and raise funds, through tools such as IVR systems, text messages crowd-mapping software and social media.

Those present included:

  • Achintya Rai (Video Volunteers) –Using video to empower communities to tell their own stories
  • Aditi Gupta (Menstrupedia) – Using crowd-funding to raise money for projects
  • ArjunVenkatraman (Mojolab Foundation) –Developing low cost technology forNGO needs
  • ArpitaBhagat (Hollaback Mumbai) –Advocating for your cause through crowdsourcing
  • Deepta Naha – Training programs for NGOs to understand and use technology better
  • Elsa D’Silva (Safe City) and YogeshLondhe (Simple TechLife) –Mapping events online through citizen generated content
  • Keith Porcaro (Simlab) –Using SMS services for monitoring and collaboration with government and NGOs
  • MunafKapadia (Google) –Telling stories through digital channels
  • Ruben Mascarenhas (Zero Tolerance), Ashwin Mishra and Rachel Bali (Say No Accept No) – Using social media for campaigns
  • Sashwati Banerjee (Sesame Workshop India) –Community radio storytelling
  • TB Dinesh (Servelots) –Using open source tools to create contextualized stories for community outreach programs

The first day focused on familiarizing NGOs with the technologists, their work and technology tools and included a deep dive into various aspects of Gender Based Violence–domestic violence, caste bias, sexual harassment at work, assisting survivors of violence, engaging government in policy making etc.

The event started with ‘Speed Geeking’ – quick 5-minute interactions with technologists. Participants then chose to be part of breakout sessions that they found most relevant to their requirements.

At the end of day 1, the participants developed clear problem statements:

  • How can we make information on funding from corporate social responsibility programs easily available?
  • How do you make the police more accountable using crowd-sourced information?
  • How do we use technology to reduce the isolation and stigmatization of sex workers?
  • How can we increase the participation of girls on our football team by 25% in the next 6 months?
  • How can we curate, collect, visualize, and measure qualitative data about sex workers?
  • How do we identify and mobilize men who are not violent and want to support women’s rights?

On the second day of the event, the participants and technologists worked together to develop detailed strategies that would address the various problems.

To ensure that PTX Mumbai facilitated real change on the ground, the USIP announced that it would be offering small grants to organizations or groups that could come up with potentially impactful projects with implementation plans. The grants will be distributed after review by the PTX team and the US Consulate, Mumbai.

Sheldon Himelfarb, Director of USIP’s PeaceTech Initiative, said, “We are fortunate that today, we have unprecedented opportunities to use technology to bring about positive change. However, we believe that wider collaboration across disciplines and organizations is needed to tackle complex problems like gender-based violence.”

Priya Naik,  Founder and Joint Managing Director of Samhita Social Ventures added, “This event has not only initiated new discussions on the critical issue of gender-based violence but it has also encouraged the development of partnerships between local civil society organizations and technology experts.”

PTX Mumbai was an experience that encouraged collaboration and provided learning opportunities not only for the NGOs but also technologists and organizers. The NGOs were able to create meaningful projects and develop new ideas that used technology as a platform for connectivity, communication and impact. The technologists experienced first hand challenges faced by NGOs on the ground and realized the crucial role that they could play in bringing about change.PTX Mumbai was successful in bridging gaps between technology tools and end users in order to create actual impact rather than just theoretical possibilities of change.

Webinar on “Social Media: Using Facebook and More to Sell Your Mission”

Date: October 30, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Nonprofit professionals today have extraordinary opportunities at their fingertips to connect with resources that extend far past their location. However, with this rapid growth, it is critical to stay in tune with all the new developments. As Web 2.0 evolves into Web 3.0, a lack of knowledge on of the basic social media landscape and its applications can waste valuable time and money.

This interactive web-based seminar aims to inform managers and fundraisers on using social media to increase visibility and raise funds through an introduction to the basics of social media and its applications.

Who should attend?

This course is ideally suited to nonprofit professionals who want to build their capacity through increased understanding of communications and social media- Executive Directors/NGO managers who are responsible for communications and individuals who want to develop their professional skills and effectiveness.

The course will be delivered entirely through the internet. You only need to have a computer, high-speed internet connection and a headphone. Participants from any part of the world can attend it.

The course will consist of a 60 minute presentation where you will see the slides and hear the trainer, followed by a 30 minute Q&A session during which your questions will be answered by the trainer in real time. This course is supported by extensive additional materials for participants to use after the course, including access to the webinar presentation, webinar slides, and training materials.

To register your participation for the webinar, please visit the link here.

Expression of Interest invited for running Mobile Anganwadi Centres

Deadline:  October 10, 2014

The Department of Women and Child Development, GNCT of Delhi under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) invites Expression of Interest (E.O.I.) from the interested NGOs, corporate bodies, societies, colleges, any other organization having experience in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education, for running Mobile Anganwadi Centres based in vans to cover homeless, displaced, calamity, and allied affected sections.

Objective of this intervention is to reach out and mainstream the marginalized and vulnerable street/ homeless children with the mobile van, basic functions of these six services of ICDS would have to be provided which would form the specific objectives of the programme:

  1. Health Education including Education on Sanitation and Hygiene
  2. Tie-up with Health Department, GNCTD for immunization
  3. Supplementary Nutrition
  4. Early Child Care Education (ECCE)
  5. Health Referral
  6. Health Check up Operational Details

For more information, visit the link here.

Global Giving Open Challenge 2014

Deadline: October 24, 2014

GlobalGiving is an innovative online fundraising platform for nonprofits of all sizes around the world. Since 2008, GlobalGiving’s Open Challenge has helped more than 2500 organizations raise over $8 million from thousands of donors.

To secure a permanent spot on the site and get access to a range of benefits, you are invited to join the Open Challenge. Participating organizations are challenge to raise $5000 from 40 donors for their GlobalGiving Project by reaching out to existing supporters and prospective donors. GlobalGiving provides your organization with access to their online fundraising platform, complete with a donation manager, fundraising tools, trainings, and resources, and give you the chance to try growing and engaging your networks online.

You have to be registered as a non-profit in the U.S. (i.e. a 501 (c)3) or in your country to be eligible to participate in the Open Challenge.

Submit the application and apply for the challenge here.

Seminar on “Promoting your NGO using Social Media”

September 28, 2014

A problem that faces many NGOs is the promotion of their events, actions or the ability to have a web presence that attracts volunteers, participants or sponsors/donors.

Social-Media is a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one way communication) into dialogues (two way communication) that democratizes information,  transforming people by shifting the way people read, collaborate and publish news and information. Social-Media technologies are reducing barriers and allowing people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal and social use. NGOs depend on their relationships with members, donors and stakeholders for financial support, goodwill and advocacy matters.

The seminar focuses on:

  • Powerful ideas on  how NGOs should be using social media (YouTube, Twitter,  Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs) to advance your missions;
  • How NGOs can attract supporters (participants, new members, volunteers, donors, sponsors) via the social-networks, web and social-media resulting in real-world actions.
  • Keeping stakeholders updated on current developments within the NGO and how it fits into the larger development context.
  • Best practices on social media management.
  • Several examples of how NGOs and international nonprofits are successfully using social media for programs and campaigns.

For registration process, contact [email protected]

Times of India Social Impact Awards 2014

Deadline: October 13, 2014

Times of India (TOI) announces the third edition of  Social Impact Awards 2014 in order to honor and popularize the activities of thousands of people who are not satisfied with sitting back and watching, who have taken the plunge and worked for delivering such essential needs to our fellow citizens as education, healthcare and decent livelihoods. These Awards will also recognize work towards saving the environment and empowerment of people. The TOI Social Impact Awards 2014 are in joint venture with Aditya Birla Group.


The Award is open in five categories namely:             

  1. Education
  2. Health
  3. Environment
  4. Livelihoods
  5. Advocacy and Empowerment

Who can participate?

  • NGOs
  • Corporates
  • Government organizations

Standards for Selection:

Entrance will be judged based on the observing parameters

  1. Significance of Issues Addressed
  2. Scale of Impact
  3. Replicability
  4. Sustainability
  5. Finances
  6. People Participation
  7. Innovativeness
  8. Promotion of Equity

For further details on the application procedure, visit the website here.

TechCamp Bengaluru – Empowering social sector leaders with the technological resources to make impactful change

Over 50 leaders from the social sector and over 30 technology experts, journalists and university students from across the state of Karnataka came together for TechCamp Bengaluru on February 28, 2014. The event, organized by the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai and Samhita Social Ventures, sought to empower them with new and emerging technology resources to help them solve real world challenges and build digital capacity.

The keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Aravind Sitaraman, the President of Inclusive Growth at Cisco, who is a key proponent of using technology to address the many challenges that society faces. He stressed that technology will help developing nations leapfrog developed countries. However, the real challenge of the day was reaching out to remote areas and ensuring lasting impact in those areas. Speaking on the effective use of technology to maximize impact, he said, ‘Building a technological solution isn’t enough. It is necessary to build an ecosystem around it. To reach the masses, technology must be made keeping in mind computer literacy and local languages.’

The session that followed was a panel discussion on ‘Using Technology Effectively’. The panel was moderated by Ms. Archana Sahay of Cisco and consisted of Mr. Shridhar Venkat, Executive Director at the Akshaya Patra Foundation, Mr. Mahantesh GK, Founder and Managing Trustee of the Samarthanam Foundation, Mr. Gunjan Patel, CSR head at SAP Labs India and Mr. Manickavelu M, Program Director at Mindtree Foundation.

The delegates were then broken up into 4 groups and proceeded to separate sessions with trainers who have expertise in both technology and nonprofits. The themes of the breakout sessions were as follows:

  • Effective Branding & Fundraising conducted by Shrinath V, who has worked with companies such as Nokia and Motorola and is now a product consultant
  • Networking & Data Gathering conducted by Nisha Thompson of DataMeet
  • Crowdsourcing platforms conducted by Sajjad Anwar, a hacktivist and programmer
  • Aggregating & Optimizing Data by Praveen Selvasekaran, founder of SimpleTechLife

The breakout sessions sought to enable participants to engage with technology experts in order to collaborate and find solutions to problems they are trying to address.

The highlight of the day was the address by Ms. Jennifer McIntyre, the Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General, Chennai, who also emphasized on the effective use of digital tools to address social challenges, especially spearheaded by students and youth leaders.

About the TechCamp movement

TechCamp Bengaluru 2014 is the latest in a series of such technology training camps being conducted across the world as part of former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative. Past camps were conducted in Mumbai as well as in countries like Israel and Kazakhstan. The effort aims to galvanize the technology community across the globe to assist NGOs by providing capabilities, resources and assistance to enable them to harness the latest Information and Communication Technology advances to build their digital capacity.

TechCamps bring together technologists and CSOs in a particular country or region to brainstorm on challenges they currently face in their communities. These groups work together to develop real time solutions to address these challenges. After a TechCamp event is over and problems have been identified, CSOs are connected to global networks of technologists, sponsors and digital volunteers interested in helping implement solutions.

Samhita’s role in TechCamp Bengaluru

Samhita was a key organizer of TechCamp Mumbai 2013 along with the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai. Furthering their link with TechCamp, Samhita joined in as the implementation partner of TechCamp Bengaluru. Samhita had the responsibility of identifying NGOs, conceptualizing the event, identifying technological solutions for various challenges that social organizations face, as well as overall outreach and managing the event.