India's social sector's funding model needs to be fixed

I had shared this yesterday on social media

I was triggered to write this after recently interacting with a few people at the Nature in Focus event. So many spoke about how hard it is to raise funds, especially in the niche research areas they are working in. The only way to be able to solve this is to be able to get a lot more participation in the social sector and beyond CSR.

How do we get everyone out there who can start to think of social investments as an asset allocation along with stocks, real estate, gold, etc, in their portfolio? The idle money in India’s savings and current bank accounts is Rs 22lk crores. This excludes fixed deposits which is another Rs 10lk crores.

Has anyone on the forum considered this issue and had any ideas on making social investments a more mainstream activity?


One way to help social sector raise funding is to make it a part of the local economy:

  1. By helping people consume local products and services by non-profits, their purchases directly fund the social works. Often they cannot compete with cheaper alternatives, which could partially be addressed by ad network that optimizes for sustainability, where non-profits stand a better chance to sell.

Not all non-profits have something to sell though;

  1. By incentivising local businesses to collaborate and take up social initiatives in order to grow their businesses. A great way to do this would be to help them reach local customers on sustainable terms. The more social initiatives they take up (validated by local community), more customers they find.

Both could help India’s social sector raise funding as part of the economic activity (which is as mainstream as it gets). This could be key indicator for social stock exchange too. Does combination of stocks of local sustainable businesses and non-profits count as an asset?

I can see neighbourhood level indices similar to nifty and sensex, of local sustainable businesses and non-profits.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

Edit: A social platform might be of help for the social sector. I share some of the ways it can help in this grove thread.


The Social model should be an economic model, with some minimal returns! Directly or indirectly to the investors.

A mere 4% direct return or indirectly a benefit which could be a good diet, stay, taking care in a serene surrounding good Oxygenated also will allow many an Investor to indulge.

Assume 50% are elderly are in the process of it…they need attention and help, and most of the funds are kept for Old Age , and these resources many a time would not be put into Productive use.

Here, a trusted facilitator like Zerodha can step in, build a Co-operative functional …that can receive investments, accountable and function like a corporate!

We at Cupid Greens, provide a good diet a profitable Social set up and still on an individual basis find difficult to raise funds.

We strongly believe in generation of Profits and that is important for any Social start up to survive!



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“There’s a large amount of literature investigating whether being charitable makes people happier, or whether being happier makes people more charitable. Our paper offers new evidence for the latter,”



Will introduction of the Social Stock Exchange help in the social investments movement and make it mainstream like buying MF’s / stocks?

We are hoping it does. :crossed_fingers:

We were discussing this internally. Copy-pasting from an internal discussion.

The success of an SSE or social stock exchange can help solve some of the funding issues in the social sector by making investing in the social sector a more mainstream activity. And as I have said before, SSE can also help bridge the trust deficit when someone is deciding to invest in the social sector. When people invest in companies on the stock exchange, there is a trust that exists that companies will use the money for the right purposes and also comfort in knowing that there is a regulatory framework to protect investors. The same will hopefully extend to the social sector Orgs listed on SSE.

One way that could further help is Universal Basic Outcome (UBO).

While countries including India are considering Universal Basic Income (UBI) for social welfare, where most who receive it are dependants for their essentials.

An alternate approach to distribute same money, would be to enable people to invest received ‘UBO’ exclusively into local sustainable businesses, SMEs and non-profits, and trusting people to earn their basic income within local economy themselves.

E-RUPI can help with ensure it is first invested locally and earned locally.

Such an approach wouldn’t just be (i) morale boosting as people are self-reliant for essentials but it also would help them (ii) to invest in the local community that sustains them; and (iii) to stay invested by earning in local economy.

This is fund raising for India’s social sector through what is meant for social welfare. Universal Basic Outcome.

I hope this helps. :smiley:

There is a need for a paradigm shift in the way we fund development projects.

From - Funding an existing solution (usually developed elsewhere) to a problem

To - Fund ecosystems that can co-design solutions to a problem close to/with the people who are experiencing it

And funders trust the ones closer to the problem. (communities, actors, etc) and bring their voice into the design. Basically, solve the problem statement and not fix the line items to align with a funder mandate.

And this holds true to all kinds of funding and decisions with philanthropic monies, private capital and public finance.