With lots of governmental and non-governmental organizations working towards supporting the underprivileged people of the society, it can be quite confusing to determine which organization you should donate to. Your contributions can help a lot of disadvantaged communities stay safe and hunger-free during this pandemic. This article will help you decide the right cause and organization to donate to.
We have also curated a list of ten ongoing COVID-19 relief funds by bodies in India and abroad to help you decide easily. The prime objectives of these fundraisers include food supply to the needy, oxygen concentrators, cylinders, and ventilators to hospitals, and also organizing vaccine awareness programs for educationally backward communities.
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Learn about the various non-profit institutions and crowdfunding platforms you can contribute to from the sections below. You will also find information regarding tax exemption under 80G and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.
Usually, people choose to contribute to their home state's relief funds, but we should realize that some other states may need more support than ours. For example, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases in India. Your contributions will help the state government's efforts to buy vaccines, PPE kits, antigen test kits, and procure oxygen for the critically ill in hospitals across the state.
State governments usually display details of the receipts and allotments on their website. Take a look at the statistics page of the Government of Kerala Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund. You will find real-time data along with expenditure details of the money already utilized from the fund to fight the pandemic.
Donations made to central and state governments' relief funds are usually 100% exempt from Income tax under Section 80 (G) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. It can also be made a part of your company's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.
If you are also looking for tax exemptions, we recommend checking the non-profit's website to determine if they provide the certificate for the same. Usually, donations made to NGOs are 50% tax-deductible. Some organizations don't have permission to issue a tax exemption certificate, so that crowdfunding platforms won't facilitate its issue. Check the campaign details before you proceed.
You may have heard about the charity activities of actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood. He founded an NGO called Sood Charity Foundation with a strong vision to help people worldwide and inspire others to do the same. As of now, they have served over 40,00,000 meals and fed 18,000+ families, adopted 2000+ strays, and transported 90,000+ migrants to their hometowns.
The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of many communities across India. The daily wagers, migrant laborers, and those living in night shelters are the most affected. You may choose to donate to an organization whose prime objective is to serve dry ration and cooked meals to people (like Akshaya Patra) or an institution that runs multiple relief initiatives (like the Indian Red Cross Society).
Do you want to find out restaurants and individuals serving COVID meals and free charity food in your locality? Visit Covid Meals for India and select your state and city name to find service providers. The website also connects you with verified NGOs where you can directly donate to them on their websites.
Let's not forget about our furry friends on the streets. In many places where the state governments have implemented lockdowns, the stray animals are starving since it's us, humans, who have been their source of food. Find the local organizations and individuals working to feed the hungry stray animals and donate to their cause.
With the COVID-19 second wave, India is witnessing a record rise in the number of new cases and daily deaths. The need for ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and oxygen concentrators is more than ever. Help is pouring in from several parts of the world., but that's not enough.
Several organizations throughout India are working towards importing oxygen concentrators from China. They also need money to transport the procured items to various cities and states. Our contributions to this cause will help save many lives, especially elderly people and those suffering from multiple health conditions.
You can find campaigns on crowdfunding platforms started solely for procuring oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders for hospitals. Here is a campaign run by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) for procuring oxygen concentrators, PPE kits, RT-PCR testing machines, and oxygen generation plants.
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Khalsa Aid International
Nobel Peace Prize Nominated NGO
Indian Red Cross Society
One of the Most Trustworthy Non-Profit Charitable Organization
Benefiting Communities Vary Depending on the Campaign
Help Age India
Contribute to Support the Elderly People of India
Fundraisers by Verified Non Profit Organizations and Beneficiaries
USA Based Non-Profit For International Donors
Affiliate of the World-Renowned ActionAid Association
Donate for School Reopen Sanitization Project
Help Provide Oxygen to Hospitals and Patients
Support Trans Lives by Donating to Parivar Bay Area
Khalsa Aid India Charitable Trust is part of the UK-based Nobel Peace Prize-nominated Khalsa Aid International. Their current focus is to help the national government, medical organizations, and other NGOs by delivering oxygen concentrators and cylinders bought using the donations they receive from throughout the world, including J.K Rowling’s Volant Charitable Trust.
You can find updates on their humanitarian activities through their social media channels. Recently they released an app called Medical Aid to distribute oxygen concentrators to needy patients of Punjab, Jammu, and NCR. People in India can donate to their cause through direct bank transfer, UPI, or State Bank Collect.
The account details are only for donations from within India. If you have family or friends abroad, you may send them to their "Support Us" page. Donations to Khalsa Aid India Charitable Trust are 50% tax-deductible under 80G.
The Indian Red Cross Society has been at the forefront of charity operations in India for over 100 years. All donations made to this organization will be utilized to deliver food kits and serve cooked meals to the needy. Other essential supplies like face masks, protective body suits, ventilators, and thermometers are also being deployed by this non-profit organization.
As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, this organization receives donations of essentials like oxygen concentrators, ventilators, bedside monitors, oxygen cylinders, and many more from throughout the world. All these are being handed over to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India.
You can make cash contributions through their website or donate essentials like dry ration, gloves, sanitizers, masks, oxygen concentrators, etc., through the 1100 branches throughout the country.
Milaap is a crowdfunding platform where organizations and individuals can create fundraising campaigns to support communities or individuals. You can find several ongoing campaigns started to raise funds for various causes like providing raw rations and meals to needy families, buying oxygen concentrators, etc.
The particular relief fund we are linking here was created to support Swasth Alliance and ACT Grants to procure 50,000 oxygen concentrators (OC) and medical supplies to assist India in fighting the pandemic. Their latest update shows that they have procured approx. 40,000 OCs with 10, 733 already supporting many hospitals and clinics across 22 states and union territories.
You can use the search function to find COVID-19 campaigns and filter results to show emergency, trending, highest raised campaigns, etc. Milaap facilitates the issue of tax deduction certificates only if the benefiting organization is eligible to issue them. Remember that not all campaigns on Milaap offer 80G tax exemptions.
The prime focus of Help Age India has always been the welfare of the elderly people of India. Their COVID-19 relief initiatives are underway in 125 districts of 25 states of India. Over 5,00,000 underprivileged elders and their communities have been supported with medicines and primary healthcare so far.
Their Help Age Elder Helpline has reached out to more than 50,000 elders and delivered essential items and medicines at their doorsteps. Along with medical support, they also need our help for delivering ration kits, screening equipment hygiene kits, etc., to the elderly. Contributions made to Help Age India are 50% tax-exempt under 80G.
Visit Help Age India to learn more about their COVID-19 emergency response. You may choose to make your contribution through credit/debit cards, UPI, net banking, Amazon Pay, or through e-wallets like Paytm and Payu.
Give India provides a platform for several legitimate non-profit and non-governmental organizations to start a fundraising campaign for various causes. Their COVID Response Fund-1, which was launched in April 2020, raised more than 220 crores to aid the battle against the coronavirus.
Since the second wave of COVID-19 started, Give India has started COVID Response Fund-2, extending a helping hand to various disadvantaged individuals and communities. You can find fundraisers by popular non-profit organizations like Priyanka Chopra Jonas Foundation and Bollywood stars like Lara Dutta.
Campaigns to provide cash support to the families of the deceased, boost oxygen supply to critical patients, set up covid care centers for patients, etc., are also underway. Give India accepts donations through credit/debit cards, wallets, net banking, and UPI.
If you have family or friends abroad, you can share Global Giving's India COVID-19 Relief Fund with them. It is a non-profit organization that connects other non-profits with donors and companies. The fundraiser we have shared here was started by Global Giving, but you can also find campaigns by verified non-profit organizations like Snehalaya, Apne Aap USA, SHRI, etc.
Some ongoing COVID-19 relief fundraisers provide support for HIV infected kids affected by the pandemic (by Arogya Agam), give cash grants to women-led families in Tamil Nadu (by VOICE Trust), arrange vaccination, oxygen, and hospital referrals for children and women in red light areas, refugee camps, and migrant slums, and many more.
Please note that since Global Giving is an organization based in the United States, it doesn't provide a tax exemption certificate under 80G. But for US taxpayers, all donations to Global Giving are tax-deductible.
ActionAid Association is an international non-governmental organization working for social and ecological justice since 1972. ActionAid India's 2020 COVID-19 response initiatives supported over 23.5 lakh individuals and helped another 41.97 lakh people by linking them with governmental schemes. They responded in 235 districts in 24 states and 1 union territory.
Your donations will help provide safety kits for sanitation and frontline workers, livelihood support to the most vulnerable families who lost their earning member, organize vaccine awareness programs, and many more.
Apart from extending monetary aid, you can also help by volunteering your time, start fundraisers on crowdfunding platforms, introduce them to organizations and trusts, etc. You can avail 50% tax exemption under 80G since ActionAid India is a registered Indian organization.
Akshaya Patra is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that was started to eliminate classroom hunger. During this pandemic, they are extending their helping hands to the low-income segment of the society consisting of migrant laborers, daily wagers, and the deprived people of old age homes and night shelters.
So far, Akshaya Patra has served 12,16,96,864 meals to the needful communities. You can check more statistics of their groundwork on their website. The organization also provides happiness kits to children containing nutritious food items, hygiene kits, immunity boosters, and learning materials. More on how your money will be spent can be found on their Financials page.
Their School Reopen Sanitisation Project provides sanitization products (masks, face shields, gloves, shoe covers, personal water bottles, soap dispensers, foot-operated sanitation stations, sanitizers, and infra-red thermometers) to students and teachers. You can avail 50% tax exemption under 80G for donations made to Akshaya Patra.
Feeding India is a not-for-profit organization by Zomato, a popular food delivery company. They have organized several COVID-19 relief fundraisers in the past. The current one is to support hospitals and patients with oxygen and medical supplies. About 57 crores have been raised so far from the target of 60 crores for this cause.
Stay tuned to their website so you will be informed when new fundraisers begin. Here are some statistics of their previous successful fundraisers: Food for Paws raised INR 37,78,512.10 and served 3,45,550 meals to homeless strays across India, Feed Every Child raised INR 50,89,637.68 and served 36,00,297 meals to underserved children.
Parivar is a non-profit organization based in the United States. Their fundraiser to support transgender, intersex, third gender lives has already amassed over $73,000 of the $175,826 target. SITAL (Save Indian Trans ALLINDIA Lives) is their effort to provide rations and medical kits to the transgender communities facing neglect and isolation during these tough times.
Their fundraiser is live on the popular American crowdfunding platform, GoFundMe. You will be taken to the fundraising page when you click on the donate button on the Parivar Bay Area website. The money raised will be distributed to over 25 organizations supporting more than 10,000 communities spread over 44 districts in 14 states.
Since the organization is based in California Bay Area, you won't be able to avail 80G tax benefits, but it's our duty to help these neglected communities. Make a kin contribution to this worthy cause, and don't forget to share this fundraiser with your loved ones abroad.
It's always safe to consider reputable organizations. But during our research, we could find negative reviews about the seemingly trustworthy organizations, too. But there exists a possibility that such reviews could be from competitions. So here we are focusing on helping you spot possible fraudsters who usually deceive people through direct contact.
A website called CoViD Scam Directory has over 740 records of scammers. Type the phone number, account number, or UPI id you have received to check its authenticity. But remember, there could still be many unidentified scammer phone numbers, account numbers, and UPI ids out there. Watch the YouTube video above to learn more about scams during the pandemic.
You will be missing out on a lot of crucial information if you don't watch a news channel or read a newspaper. But not everyone has the time to do these. We are recommending five YouTube channels that provide health-related information, national and international COVID-19 news, and many more to help you stay informed.
The most affected communities by the COVID-19 pandemic are the daily wage workers, migrant laborers, and the homeless. It's the duty of the privileged to help those in need. You can be assured that donations made to governmental organizations will be put to good use.
It is understandable if you are skeptical about fundraisers by non-governmental organizations. Research thoroughly about an organization by reading reviews and testimonials to determine the authenticity. When you are donating to a campaign on a fundraising platform, find out the benefiting individuals and organizations first and study their efforts to date before contributing.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
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