Philanthropy community in Ahmedabad come together to discuss strategic partnerships at Dasra Philanthropy Forum

Strategic Philanthropy | September 14, 2019

Philanthropists aim to collaborate on improving Gujarat’s performance on the Sustainable Development Goals index as tracked by NITI Aayog

Ahmedabad, September 14, 2019: Today, Dasra Philanthropy Forum (DPF), first-of-its-kind donor meet was hosted in Ahmedabad by God My Silent Partner (GMSP) Foundation, Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT), and Dasra, a strategic philanthropy organization. Over 100 dignitaries including philanthropists, corporates, foundations, government representatives, NGO leaders and sector experts discussed collaborative action to accelerate India’s progress on key socio-economic indicators covering themes like sanitation, health, nutrition, education. Key philanthropists including Sonal Sachdev Patel, Priti Adani and Aditi Premji were present.


Sonal Sachdev Patel, CEO, GMSP Foundation, said, “Through God My Silent Partner Foundation, we work closely with marginalized communities to improve social, health and education related outcomes. Collaboration is essential if we want to see significant social change. I believe in the immense potential of the Gujarati business community, grassroots organisations and our civil society to create a transformative change for Indians. Dasra Philanthropy Forum provided a better understanding on the role of collaborations among diverse stakeholders to accelerate the performance on Sustainable Development Goals.”


Dasra Philanthropy Forum (DPF), first-of-its-kind in Ahmedabad, enabled the philanthropy community to discuss their active role in India’s development sector. According to the India Philanthropy Report 2019, India's social sector requires a significant funding ramp-up if it is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Even if India sustains its current funding growth rate and channels all philanthropic capital into five SDGs related to zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, and clean water and sanitation, it will face an annual shortfall of Rs. 4.2lakh crore ($60 billion) if it is to achieve even five of the 17 SDGs by 2030. Ahmedabad being the fourth richest city in India (in terms of the billionaires residing in the city), its philanthropy community can play a very active role to solve the socio-economic challenges of our nation.


Bijal Brahmbhatt , Director, Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT), said, ”When we are talking about scaling the social impact through philanthropy, it is crucial to think about government as a key stakeholder. We have engaged with the government on various levels while working in different slum upgradation initiatives in implementation, consultation, advisory and policy influence which enabled us to scale the impact.”


Importance of collaborative philanthropy in India


Dr. Priti G. Adani, Chairperson, Adani Foundation, said, “Adani Foundation is currently working across 18 states in the areas of education, community health and livelihoods. Continuous collaboration with stakeholders such as government, communities and subject experts allows us to identify and implement best practices in our programmes directed towards nation building.”


At a discussion panel on ‘The Changing Face of Indian Philanthropy’ Arnav Kapur, Program Officer, Policy and Philanthropic Partnerships, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Priti G. Adani, Chairperson, Adani Foundation and Steve Cutts. Chief Executive Officer, Reach to Reach acknowledged the massive scale of India’s development challenges and how philanthropic capital can amplify the impact of every rupee to achieve SDGs for India by 2030.


Aditi Premji, Fellow, Dasra, said, “The massive scale of development challenges in India require philanthropists to be strategic, collaborative, dynamic and outcome-oriented. Participation in platforms such as Dasra Philanthropy Forum enables non-profits, funders, government representatives as well as marginalized communities to maximize social impact by providing strategic direction to philanthropy.”  


Deval Sanghavi, co-Founder, Dasra, said, “There will be a catalytic impact on Sustainable Development Goals performance if Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNIs) and corporations strategically boost their giving two or three times. Through Dasra Philanthropy Forum in Ahmedabad we aim to empower donors in Gujarat with knowledge and networks to unlock their giving potential. Dasra Philanthropy Forum is a platform for funders, government representative and NGOs to think about collaborative approaches for resolving the biggest challenges faced by Gujarat and India as a nation. The vibrant discussions at Dasra Philanthropy Forum have left us hopeful that high impact and outcome oriented philanthropic innovations will be formed in Gujarat.”


Empowering adolescents for empowered India


A session on ‘Investing in Adolescents: An Age of Opportunity’ informed the audiences about the significance of focusing on the challenges faced by around 253 million adolescents in India. Implementing partners from Dasra’s 10to19 Dasra Adolescents Collaborative, a high-impact platform that unites social organizations, funders, technical experts and the government discussed the need to break silos and create greater collaboration to enable access to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), nutrition, education and developing agency for India’s adolescents.


Achieving all 169 interconnected indicators related to SDGs is a mammoth task which needs rethinking the approach towards development challenges apart from significant increase in funding. The government will continue to remain a leading player for funding in the development sector but the philanthropists have an important role to play to push collaborative action, innovation and provision of risk capital.


About Dasra Philanthropy Forum 

The Dasra Philanthropy Forum (DPF) is a convening and learning platform to inspire and inform the donor community to take meaningful action on some of India’s most complex and urgent social challenges. The forum is also a unique opportunity to showcase diverse and innovative models for social change in India from nonprofit led solutions occurring at the community-level, to multi-stakeholder collaborations in partnership with the government, thereby involving a wider community that could apply these approaches in a global context. 
The forum is based on the Dasra Philanthropy Week in India, which is now in its tenth year, and has built local philanthropic leadership, communities of strategic philanthropists, and increased effective philanthropy on a range of issues in India, including maternal and child health, sanitation, empowerment of adolescent girls, and youth employability. The Dasra Philanthropy Week annually engages 500 philanthropists, multilateral agencies, corporations, and government leaders to build a better India, including leading Indian philanthropists Rohini Nilekani, Rishad Premji, Anu Aga and Nisa Godrej. 


About GMSP

Established by Pratibha and Ramesh Sachdev in 2006, GMSP is a family foundation that supports strong frontline organisations working to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in India and the UK. Together we are driven by the shared humanity that connects us all as we seek to advance the rights, dignity and happiness of those communities we work with. Through the work of our partners GMSP has impacted the lives of 4.8Million adults and children.


About Dasra 

Dasra, meaning ‘enlightened giving’ in Sanskrit, is a pioneering strategic philanthropic organization that aims for a transformed India where a billion thrive with dignity and equity. Since its inception in 1999, Dasra has accelerated social change by driving collaborative action through powerful partnerships among a trust-based network of stakeholders (corporates, foundations, families, non-profits, social businesses, government and media). Over the years, Dasra has engaged with 500 philanthropists, corporates and foundations, published 22 research reports in diverse fields and directed over US$34 Million in strategic funding to the sector. 

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