Aloysius Xavier Lopez

“Regular contributions have reduced by 70 per cent,” says a social worker

Many NGOs have been experiencing financial problems for the past three months

CHENNAI: Alternative ways of mobilisation of funds have become crucial for sustenance of social development programmes, as the impact of the economic recession is affecting many non governmental organisations (NGOs).

As corporate contributions have dried up, many NGOs have started visiting homes to explain their mission to individuals and seek their monetary inputs.

“Regular contributions have reduced by 70 per cent,” said K. Bhaskar, a social worker of Good Life Centre.

“This is the first time we are experiencing a shortage of rice,” said S. Vidyaakar of Udavum Karangal. “We felt the difference last month and the problem continues to be serious,” he said, adding: “We meet the donors. We make the community understand it is their work.”

Mr. Vidyaakar’s organisation has started self-supporting initiatives in order to mobilise funds for feeding its 1,800 members.

Its members include children, women and people with mental disability.

Around 500 members of Udavum Karangal have come forward to do outsourced work such as packing, trimming and assembling.

Many companies find it cost-effective and the physically capable members including psychiatric patients are given vocational training by the NGOs.

The vocational skills of its members have made 15 per cent of the total contribution of Udavum Karangal.

Many students are shouldering the responsibility of contributing by doing outsourced work during their summer holidays, said Mr. Vidyaakar.

Some NGOs are planning more vocational training projects as they are reluctant to seek monetary input from corporate entities during economic slowdown.

Anu Chandran, president of the Association for Non-Traditional Employment for Women said, “We have not done fundraising this year. Usually, we approach companies, but now we ask individuals.”

Many individuals sponsor a member by contributing Rs.3000, she adds.

These small donations have made a big difference, says Ms. Chandran.

Good Life Centre has planned to organise a painting exhibition of its children.

“The sale of paintings may fetch money for our children,” said Mr. Bhaskar.

Many NGOs have been experiencing financial problems for the past three months.

“We expect a further fall in contributions,” said social worker Subbaiyan.