The Rise Of First-Time Philanthropists — Smita Ram

October 4, 2016
By Rang De Team
Raghu Dixit is a brand ambassador and a Social Investor with Rang De and he has helped us raise awareness towards our efforts to get as many Indians involved as possible to help raise funds for micro-loans for rural entrepreneurs

At Rang De, we take great pride in reaching out to ‘first time borrowers’ — people who have either been denied credit or not offered credit by the formal financial institutions. It is this mandate that drives all our decisions from the partners we work with and the loans that we provide.

Over the years, we have realised that unconsciously, we have also seeded the rise of a community of first time givers or philanthropists — our Social Investors.

While philanthropy was often looked at as something meant for the wealthy and something one would do when they are well settled in life, we believe there has been a shift in mindset. Many of our Social Investors are first time givers and they firmly believe that our model is an efficient way of doing philanthropy.

There have been instances where youngsters who interned with us and given their time have continued their support to Rang De as Social Investors. And there are those whose contributions via Rang De has grown just like their position in their company.

What’s different about this community of first-time philanthropists is they are interested in understanding the cause and getting closer to the impact.

In August 2016, a group of 25 enthusiastic volunteers from Misys, a corporate, had visited our Impact partner Dharani to see first-hand the impact that their contributions have helped created towards supporting organic farming in Anantapur.

Another Social Investor in the United States has contributed towards microcredit for over 6,000 rural entrepreneurs over the years!

Just recently, we also held a Rangdezvous, a quarterly event where we connect urbanites with leaders of rural organisations that we partner with that are making a real difference on the ground and we had a tremendous turnout!

We also meet many of our Social Investors regularly such as at an event last month when we kickstarted our Coffee Conversation series and heard a number of great questions by individuals working for BHEL, Flipkart, Samsung, Goldman Sachs, Google, GE Healthcare and a number of other corporates.

Our Social Investors hail from all walks of life across the major metropolitans of India

They may not be ‘wealthy’ or have enough money in the conventional sense, but they are ready to give social change a chance. I have realised they believe in being the change, in actually doing their bit as opposed to complaining about what can be better.

It is this benevolence and empathy of our Social Investor community that encourages and motivates us to up our standards.

It is their belief and faith in us that makes us strive harder, push our limits and ensure that every penny contributed through the platform is put to good use.

With nearly 10,000 Social Investors backing our mission, we are proud to see the rise of so many first-time philanthropists and we are grateful for your support as we strive to reach deeper in many more communities across the country!

If you have not done so yet then do consider investing with Rang De in any of the hundreds of individuals that seek microcredit that you can contribute to and please do let others know about how they can also become ‘first-time philanthropists’ with Rang De!

Smita Ram is the co-founder and the managing trustee at Rang De.

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