Capacity building workshop for NGOs by Harish Mehta

A workshop was organized by Kolkata Gives for the benefit of 17NGOs on 8th May 2017. This workshop was conducted by Mr. Harish Meh ta, a prominent Mumbai-based motivational speaker. Mr Mehta conducted a lively interactive session stressing the importance of NGO credibility. He indicated the NGO credibilitycould be enhanced vision clarity, sound HR practices, long-term plan,annual budgetary discipline, high compliance and good governance practices. The NGO founders who attended highlighted their funding challenges. The event was graced by thepresence of Dr. Achyuta Samanta,visionary-founder of Kalinga Institute of Technology and Kalinga Instituteof Social Sciences. Kalinga Instituteof Social Sciences (KISS) provides 25,000 tribal children with free fully residential facilities and education from KG to PG. Kalinga Institute of Technology (KIIT) has 25,000 students and is the youngest institute in the country to be declared a deemed university.Dr Samanta discussed his persistence in the face of challenges: from a small beginning to institution builder that makes it possible to provide 50,000 children with quality education (nursery to post graduate).

Contribute a sari,enrich a life

Kolkata Gives engaged in an unusual initiative in August; it mobilized a collection of 70 saris from Saurav Chatterjee,Kolkata Gives well-wisher,for onward donation to a needy NGO. Kolkata Gives suggested Ishwar Sankalpa as a beneficiary. The result was that Kolkata Gives did not just give the saris out as would have been the usual response; it requested prominent photographer Vivek Das to provide his services pro bono; it reached out to beauticianstylist Ishrat Ansar to provide her services free. The result was an unforgettable morning: the mental health patients residing at the NGO were ‘shot’ in attractive saris and beaming like a million dollars. A facebook post resulted in 358 shares and the kick-start of a wider sari movement; nearly 40 women became part of a whatsapp group to mobilise saris in quick time. As the movement widened, Kolkata Gives extended this initiative for the benefit of women rag pickers of Tiljala, Topsia and Narke ldanga. Some 120 saris were provided through a similar engagement; this time the photographer was Suvomoy Mitra, the beautician-stylist Ishrat Ansar and donation of earings from Anoushka Mohta and on-site stylist by Shruti Mohta.

Diabetes check-up for children of Samaritan Help Mission

Ms. Devanshi Agrawal, daughter of Kolkata Gives supporter Mr. Navneet Agarwal,conducted a Diabetes Detection Camp at Samaritan Help Mission.The test was conducted across 250 children.This test was conducted in response to a growing incidence of diabetes among children.

Donate a Blanket

As part of this campaign we have pledged to provide 10000 blankets beneficiaries in Rural parts of Bengal.

Kolkata Gives coordinates students’ visit to Eden Gardens

Kolkata Gives co-ordinated with the management of Kolkata Knight Riders to facilitate the free entry of 15 students from Samaritan Help Mission to watch the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Dare Devils at the Eden Gardens on 28 April 2017. This was the first ever visit for each student to Eden Gardens.

Lux collaborates with Samaritan Help Mission for skill development / livelihood programme

Udit Todi (Lux Industries), a Kolkata Gives supporter, visited Samaritan Help Mission in April 2-17; arranged job-work contracts for the women associated with the NGO to be provided a contract for stitching children’s clothes. This income-generating breakthrough helped 60 women become financially self-reliant. The average weekly income of each beneficiary has increased significantly.

The Porsche Event

In 2015, Porsche Kolkata opened its showroom in Kolkata. It celebrated its second anniversary on the 21st May and as part of its celebrations, it requested Kolkata Gives to invite children from one of the NGOs to participate in the event. Several children from Tiljala Shed attended the function – they were treated with a ride in a Porsche and gift hampers.

Travelling Book Fair

Kolkata Gives entered into collaboration with Smiles & Spirits, a Kolkata-based cultural group, to extend the benefit of story book reading to the less-privileged. This is an unusual concept: instead of the conventional approach of the children visiting a book fair, the concept has reversed the paradigm it is has taken the ‘book fair’ to the children.The TBF was kick-started by Smiles & Spirits at Joy Hind Aboitanik School in Tollygunge that addresses the needs of children from socially vulnerable families. Kolkata Gives collaborated from the second TBF event at Hamari Muskan NGO in a red light area of Central Kolkata, providing two books each to around 120 children. The event was reported by the following day’s Times of India. Kolkata Gives (with Smiles & Spirits) intends to extend the benefits of this initiative to more than 25 Bengal schools each year

Workshop by Mr. JP Hamilton(organized by Kolkata Foundation )

As part of the collaboration between Kolkata Gives and US-based Kolkata Foundation towards capacity building of NGOs in the city, a workshop was conducted on fund-raising on the 2nd July. Mr. JP Hamilton, a Director in Dasra one of the largest NGOs in the country that has benefited over 20 million individuals conducted the workshop. Along with Hamilton,participants also interacted with Mr. Dhritiman Banerjee, founder of the New Jersey-based Kolkata Foundation.The workshop considered governance, good practices and accounting integrity as pre-requisites of any credible organization. Even so,one of the gaps generally perceived was the ability to identify potential donors, reach them and then present them with a compelling story.The workshop focused on various elements of fund raising: brandbuilding,identifying and reaching potential donors, presenting a coherent narrative with relevant data and developing the ability to make an “elevator pitch”. The 7 participating NGOs were each asked to make a 60-second presentation which was then evaluated to identify areas of improvement.