“It is more difficult to give money away intelligently than to earn it in the first place.” Andrew Carnegie
Daan (Donation) has been highly regarded in every culture from ancient times. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high”. There are hundreds of quote available espousing Daan (Donation). A 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves (despite participants’ prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier).
The forms of Daan can be cash or kind. IRS encourages both providing deductions for tax purposes. In the wake of COVID-19, IRS has substantially relaxed limits for eligible deductions. The details are available in IRS Publication 526 (2020), Charitable Contributions.
In the Indian culture, more than Daan, what has been emphasized is Supatra Daan. That means giving donation to the deserving. That is intelligent giving.
I often across persons who have a high desire to give donation but what holds them back is the question or doubt: Will my money reach the deserving, the stated cause?
If you were looking for a guide to intelligent giving, you may look up charity navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org)
Charity navigator is a 19 year old organization. They have a star rating system based on very well defined criteria. Their 4 Star is 100% score.
Charity Navigator has so far rated around 160,000 Charities. Charity Navigator has listed up 100+ Four Star Charities. And Sewa International proudly sits among those.
And it is not one off. Sewa International has been consistently rated 4 Star for the last four years (2016-2019) for which report has been available on Charity Navigator web pages, as of the day.
When you look up for great charity, program expenses to total expenses is considered a key metric. The next is Administrative expenses as a ratio of total expenses. Any Charity whose program expenses constitute 90% or higher is considered a great charity. That number for Sewa International is 91.4% (Table below).
Sewa International’s administrative expenses are less than 5%.
It’s fund raising expenses are 3.6% of the total. Interestingly, as of 2019, It had no government grants. Fund raising events bring nearly 42% of its total funds.
Sewa International would have no interest in the comparative set. But Charity Navigator publishes a set of 5 charities performing similar type of work. Sewa is #1 (Table below).
Who is Sewa International?
Sewa International is a ‘not-for-profit’ organization inspired by the noble tradition of service before self, and working towards promoting volunteerism internationally amongst the children, youth, women, and energetic senior citizens.
Sewa International’s Mission
Sewa International serves humanity in distress, aids local communities, and promotes volunteerism. We engage our beneficiaries to be agents of change in development and strive to make progress broad-based.
Sewa International’s Vision
Sewa International as a premier non-profit, would live in a world of equality, where everyone is happy, enjoys good health, has equal growth opportunities and lives in balance with nature. In the event of any disaster, Sewa will be called in and be among the first to serve.
Guess the tagline of Sewa International.
It is promoting Volunteerism.
That is exactly the secret of low administrative expenses and very high program expenses.
Could you believe that the CEOs of Sewa International are uncompensated, volunteers, in the world of not for profit where compensation of CEOs of some of the not for profit far exceed the toral expenses of Sewa International.
That is the reason, I say, Sewa International is your destination for Supatra Daan (Donation for the deserving, well serviced). I will not be surprised if good governments would give grants to Sewa International, recognizing their propriety and service. To know more about Sewa International, you may please visit www.sewainternational.org
Interestingly, the month of fasting and giving donations for helping the needy in Islam and Arab world is also known as ‘Rama-daan’. But Muslims in India and Pakistan call it ‘Ramzaan’.
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