I Wanted to Help During COVID-19 & Here’s How I Found the Right Way to Do It
This online platform will help you make an informed choice about the cause or NGO you want to help while giving you tax benefits.
“‘How will people from the lower strata of society survive?’ was my first thought when I heard about the lockdown in March. After I paid my security guard, domestic help, and cook, I couldn’t help but wonder about the thousands who would be out of jobs due to the situation,” Mumbai-based Shashank Rastogi, who works in a consulting firm, tells The Better India.
Like Rastogi, many people wanted to extend a helping hand by providing money, groceries, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, to those in need. He wanted the right information before picking an NGO. Besides, he wanted to ensure that the money was duly received by the beneficiary.
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However, in the initial days, the social media pages circulated names of welfare organisations assisting the needy but with limited options.
That’s when he turned towards his IIM batchmate’s organisation, DanaMojo.
“On DanaMojo, I found a list of close to 50 NGOs undertaking critical COVID-19 relief work. It offers a wide range of causes that one can donate to, including providing rations, meals, PPE kits to counselling. Another category was community-based serving like aiding displaced guest labourers, slum dwellers, children, women, or animals,” he shares.
Rastogi had a very specific cause in mind that was close to his heart and home–slum dwellers in Mumbai.
“I donated money to the Apnalaya NGO working in the Shivaji Nagar Slum in a hassle-free manner. I received 80G Tax Saving Receipt within 15 minutes, assuring me that the money had reached the beneficiaries,” says Rastogi.
He donated to two more causes, migrant sustenance and rehabilitation, to help them once they return to their villages, and provide COVID-19 treatment to patients in Anand, Gujarat.
Rastogi is grateful to DanaMojo for helping him make an informed choice without needing to spend much time on the process.
DanaMojo, founded by Dhaval Udani, is a one-of-its-kind online payment solutions platform built to connect donors directly with NGOs across India. It has multiple modes of payment–credit card, debit card, net banking, cheque, and cash pickup.
Last month, the e-platform started a unique relief initiative where anyone could donate to an NGO based on their location and nature of work.
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But what makes DanaMojo different from the rest of the organisations?
“In the initial days of lockdown, everyone started fundraising for a specific campaign, thus limiting choices for people. People donated to whatever they came across. But realising the gravity of the situation, we wanted to give people the option they like. According to the preference, they could choose between migrant and daily wage labourers, medical personnel, and needy in urban areas or animals,” says Udani.
The initiative also has a ‘Matching Donation’ feature, according to which a donor, benefactor, foundation or trust offers a matching donation, subject to certain terms given by the NGO or individual raising the funds.
“A donor has come forward to top up (with a few exclusions) all the donations made on the page that hosts the curated list of NGOs with a Matching Donation of 10 per cent for the first Rs 25 lakh. Theoretically, this means that if you donate Rs 1,000 to an NGO eligible for this matching donation on our platform, the NGO gets Rs 1,000 plus Rs 100 (10 per cent matching donation),” explains Udani.
All one has to do is click on their page, read about the NGOs, their work, and make the payment.
In return, the donor will receive a Thank You mail and the receipt, “We have also encouraged NGOs to give donors regular updates about their activities. This way, the NGOs can get more donations,” adds Udani.
When the lockdown was imposed in March, there were a little over a thousand positive cases recorded in India. Today, 75 days later, the country has over 2.5 lakh cases, which is an alarming jump.
While the lockdown was necessary to flatten the curve, it has left thousands of people without food, water, and shelter. Migrants are stranded, stray animals have no one to feed them, and wage earners are worse off than ever before.
However, thanks to efforts like DanaMojo, donating is easier without people needing to step outside their homes.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
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