Social Businesses

The Middle Ground

This is in continuation of our previous blog on ‘Growth pangs of a non-profit.’ In this blog we make an attempt to share our efforts to create a middle ground of opportunities to raise growth capital for non-profits. A year ago when Rang De had just completed its 5th year, we started seeking funds to help grow Rang De. Our first grant from ICICI Foundation to establish the model provided us the much needed start up capital to set up a peer to peer model that is aimed at providing access to low cost credit to underserved communities. We used this grant judiciously and ensured that we use it to build the model. Our team size did not expand beyond 10, our operational expenses were moderate and we experimented with the model. Now we realised was a good time to plan for the next few years and grow our impact meaningfully. Our efforts to get support from foundations failed miserably though – we...
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Social Businesses

Growth pangs of a not-for-profit

There are 1 million non-profits in India – all working to tackle a specific problem. I am sure all of us, at one point or other, have wondered why  most of the problems that the non-profits are working to solve have remained unsolved. Having had the opportunity to start one ourselves, we believe we may have just discovered one of the main reasons for the growth pangs that a non-profit faces. Popular belief remains that most non-profits are not what they seem to be and have severe challenges with regard to accountability and transparency. However, for every 1 such non-profit, there are probably 5 who are striving to succeed, to break the glass ceiling and achieve the scale that the problem demands. So, what is stopping all of us from growing? If we look at our own journey of starting Rang De, the first couple of years were dedicated to understanding the problem, devising a strategy that is suitable to solving...
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Borrowers

The doors of perception

This is a post by Rang De’s team member, Hitesh Bhatt about his recent trip to Parvati Swayamrojgar If the doors of perception are cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.- William Blake On 6th of October, on the occasion of Baqr’Eid, the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year, I got another opportunity to meet our Rang De borrowers and join them in celebration. Pune, a city which celebrates every festival with a zeal that I have not experienced elsewhere in the country, was the place I went to meet our impact partner (PSW- Parvati Swayamrojgar) and the borrowers. Crossing through the posh areas of Pune, I finally reached the slums of Ghorpadi.   What a stark difference in lifestyle you can see within the same city. On one hand there are people who possibly have more than what they want and on the other there are those who have less than what...
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Guest Blogs

Chanda and her shooting stars

This is a blogpost by Chanda Jain, a TFI Fellow in Delhi, who is doing something truly remarkable with her “small wonders” in the classroom. Here she introduces you to the shooting stars, as they like to call themselves, and her campaign. We are truly humbled that Chanda chose us to be a part of this beautiful initiative. Support Chanda’s campaign and cheer for her little shooting stars. Good values are good actions and good words. ‘Can you give me an example of a good value?’ ‘Didi if my friend does not have a pencil, I will give her my pencil. I am being helpful. ‘If my bottle falls down and the water is on the floor, and didi scolds the class, I will say didi it is my bottle. I am being honest.’ ‘If you are talking, I will say excuse me didi, can you please help me’. One year down the road and I began to realize the importance...
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