Private Philanthropy in India Sees Robust Growth, Accelerating Social Sector Spending

Mar 01, 2024 Mark

India, Mar 01, 2024: India’s philanthropic landscape is experiencing a significant shift, with private philanthropy witnessing a commendable surge in FY2023. According to the latest India Philanthropy Report 2024 (IPR) by Bain & Company and Dasra, released today, private philanthropy saw a remarkable 10% growth, reaching a staggering INR 1.2 lakh crore ($15 billion). This surge, propelled by burgeoning family philanthropy and retail donations, outpaces the growth observed in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and high-net-worth individual (HNI)/affluent donations.

The report underscores the critical role of private philanthropy in fortifying India’s social sector. While public spending remains the primary driver of social sector growth, private philanthropy presents an invaluable opportunity to bolster grassroots resilience and capacity-building initiatives. Notably, private philanthropy is projected to continue expanding at an impressive rate of 10%-15% annually over the next five years, indicative of its burgeoning influence and potential to bridge funding gaps.

“Growing private philanthropy is critical to bridging the funding gap. By virtue of its relatively long horizon and flexibility of funding, it also has an important role to play in capacity building in the social sector,” remarked Radhika Sridharan, Partner at Bain & Company and co-author of the report.

In FY2023, family philanthropy emerged as a significant driver of private giving, experiencing a robust 15% growth. Ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNI) giving, in particular, surged by an impressive 60%, with notable contributions from philanthropists like Azim Premji and Shiv Nadar. Concurrently, retail giving, fueled by compelling narratives and digital initiatives, expanded by 12%, emphasizing the efficacy of grassroots-level engagement in addressing community needs.

Despite the commendable growth in private philanthropy, CSR spending for FY2023 witnessed a moderate increase of 7%. However, regulatory changes and increased compliance have contributed to a positive shift in CSR dynamics, with more companies embracing CSR mandates and exploring multi-year initiatives for sustained impact.

“Private philanthropy is evolving, driven by diverse cohorts of givers and collaborative initiatives. Women philanthropists, Now-Gen, Inter-Gen, and professionals are shaping the philanthropic landscape with their distinct approaches and priorities,” highlighted Neera Nundy, Co-founder and Partner at Dasra.

As philanthropy in India matures, collaborative efforts and strategic interventions are poised to play a pivotal role in addressing complex social and environmental challenges. By embracing intersectional approaches and prioritizing Gender, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI), philanthropists can drive transformative change and foster inclusive growth in Indian society.

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