Swa Shakt: Towards building sustainable community organisations
Swa Shakt, meaning “self-reliance,” is a community member-led, crowd-funding model through which marginalised communities can raise resources locally.
Most community organisations are funded by donor agencies or are dependent on government funding and operate as projects. In this context, members are seen as beneficiaries and not as change agents. Swa Shakt shifts the center of the organisation from being dependent on external funding to being self sustained.
Why Swa Shakt?
- Member engagement - Swa Shakt provides an opportunity to community organisations to engage members as agents of change. This becomes a key building block in developing a self-sustained, robust community organisation.
- Capacity building - Swa Shakt builds the capacity of both the CO and it’s members. The COs recognise and explore the potential of raising resources locally and establish durable mechanisms do so. The members learn to communicate, own and drive a campaign to ensure continued service delivery for their community.
- Use of technology based solutions - Technology helps in streamlining the entire process. A helpline number for donors is available to confirm them about the authenticity of the campaign. Transparency is maintained at all levels by sending a text to both the donors and receivers on a real-time basis.
- Small amounts from many donors - Promotes ‘small from many’ way of donation with a donation amount starting from Rs.50 so that members can collect from their networks.
Where does the money go?
Of the the total funds raised,
- 60% is transferred to the community organisation
- 20% is provided as incentives for those who have been involved in the collection of funds, and
- 20% is retained by Swasti to meet costs of printing, capacity building,technology, monitoring and reporting.
Why does Swasti retain 20%
For the following support:
- Concept seeding and capacity building through training programmes at the community organisation and member level
- Printing of receipt books, flyers and other communication materials for individual members, for use during collections
- Technology - SMS receipts for donors, receivers and concerned COs and use of mCollect application for tracking of donations received at all levels. Swasti contracts the vendor and meets all associated costs
- Human Resources -Supportive supervision in the field, Planning and review meetings, Daily report of collection, Documentation, Reconciliation, Accounting, Auditing, etc
Actual expenditure on the above has had to be made upfront i.e. prior to collection of monies and has so far been in excess of the 20% retained.
Actual expenditure from April 01, 2016 to March 31, 2017 is Rs.11,33,389 and has been met from the Avahan III grant which is available until December 31, 2017; the notional deficit as of March 31, 2017 is Rs. 1,95,158
How will the 20% retained by Swasti be used?
The amounts received and retained upto December 31, 2017, i.e 20% of the gross amounts collected under Swa Shakt will be used for the purposes of strengthening the Taaras Coalition activities from January 2018. This includes:
- Capacity Building of Coalition leaders to Networking and Partnerships meetings with various stakeholders
- Taaras Coalition coordination meetings at National, State and Regional levels
- Travel and logistical arrangements for Taaras Leaders at all levels.
A committee comprising of representatives from Swasti and Taaras Coalition will be formed and shall meet periodically to review the utilization of funds and provide inputs.
In addition, support for future rounds of Swa Shakt i.e. beyond the grant funding can also be supported, based on availability of these funds.
Swasti is committed to transparency and accountability of the funds raised and utilized and hence reporting of funds retained by Swasti will also be updated on the Swa Shakt page on the website.
How is the money used by the COs?
The money raised by the community organisations can be used by them in the following ways:
- As corpus or general fund deposit, the interest of which shall be used for the recurring expenses of the organisation to meet its objectives
- To meet recurring expenses of the organisation, as approved by the Board, which are incurred for benefiting their members
- For long term investments like co-operatives, Business Correspondent and more, subject to various laws applicable to the organisation
- Expenditure towards budgeted and approved activities of the organisation for specific programs
The fundraising began from May 14, 2016 with different start date and end date for each community organisation. Here is an update on the amount raised: