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Private philanthropy outstripped corporate largesse by 42% in FY20

By Surajeet Das Gupta
March 17, 2021 09:59 IST
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The share of domestic companies in total private philanthropy, declined from 29 per cent to 28 per cent.

Philanthropy

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Individuals flew the flag for philanthropy in FY20, escalating their contribution significantly in comparison with company and foreign fund donations, according to the Dasra/Bain & Co India Philanthropy Report of 2021.

Funding by individual philanthropists went up by 42 per cent from Rs 21,000 crore in FY19 to Rs 30,000 crore in FY20.

 

The bulk of the increase came from family philanthropists who provided donations of over Rs 5 crore and whose corpus nearly tripled, hitting Rs 12,000 crore in FY20 over the previous year.

It is this increase which has propelled an increase in total private funding by a healthy 23 per cent, touching Rs 64,000 crore in FY20.

The share of domestic companies, who have been facing margin pressure, in total private philanthropy, declined from 29 per cent to 28 per cent as a result of their overall contribution rising by a mere Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 18,000 crore.

Foreign funding, which is increasingly coming under scrutiny by the government, especially after the tightening of the Foreign Contribution Rules Act, has shown no growth (at Rs 16,000 crore) with its share of overall funding falling by 31 per cent to 25 per cent in FY20.

That, of course, was made up by the increase in the share of individual philanthropy in total private funding from 40 per cent in FY19 to 47 per cent in FY20.

The Dasra/Bain & Co report has hinted that the pressures on corporate funding will only increase in FY21 due to the adverse impact of Covid-19.

It points out that, with reduced profitability, the corpus available for corporate social responsibility (which accounts for the bulk of the contribution towards philanthropy) is set to decline.

This corpus grew by 17 per cent from 2014 to 2019. The report says this is now expected to decline by 5 per cent in 2021.

What will compound this situation, adds the report, is that the corporate social responsibility corpus has shifted away from traditional non-profits to the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund.

For future donations, the hope will lie with family philanthropy driven by billionaires. For instance, the report acknowledges the Premji Foundation which it says accounted for a staggering 67 per cent of all the funds contributed by ultra high net worth individuals.

Despite the pandemic, the wealth of Indian billionaires grew by 35 per cent between April-July 2020, according to the Billionaires Insights 2020 report of UBS and PwC.

The number of high net worth individuals, according to Edelweiss report on family wealth it is expected to hit 400,000 families who will have a total net worth of Rs 360 trillion by 2025.

The report says that family philanthropy has fewer constraints and has more flexibility compared to other sources of funds.

But there is a flip side — most of them concentrate on only a few segments.

For example, the Bain report found that 47 per cent of the funds went to education and 27 per cent went to healthcare while rural development received a paltry 4 per cent in FY20.

The report also clearly states that India needs much more money to be put in the social sector and estimates that the annual demand will be Rs 21.2 trillion annually until 2025.

Yet individual philanthropy (with the exception of family philanthropy) could also be impacted as according to estimates, the per capita income of Indians is expected to fall by 5.4 per cent in FY21.

If benchmarked against the US, India could unlock an additional investible corpus of Rs 60,000-Rs 100,000 crore through family philanthropy, the Family Wealth report adds.

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Surajeet Das Gupta in New Delhi
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