LetzChange, an online social giving and crowdfunding platform, concluded the third edition of its annual fundraising competition, the ‘’Giving Premier League, raising a total of Rs. 1,17,66,617 for the 105 participating non-profits. The 40 day League saw non-profits from across the nation engage in fundraising in the digital space as they represented teams from seven different regions across India, with the ‘Empathetic East’ team, comprised of NGOs from West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and Bihar, emerging the winner by raising a total of Rs. 26,81,603. As a contributing grant for the winning team, LetzChange’s partner organization LetzDream Foundation matched 30% of the total amount raised by the qualifying NGOs of the Empathetic East, thereby taking their total donation value to Rs. 33,77,169. The second position in the League has been secured by the ‘Northern Knights’ team, comprised of NGOs from Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, who raised Rs. 24,58,425. LetzDream matched 25% of the amount raised by the non-profits of the Northern Knights as their prize money, raising their total donations to 30,79,023. LetzChange charges 0% fees or transactional cost to the NGOs, and therefore the entire amount raised though this fundraising challenge will be directly transferred to all the participating non-profits.

Giving trends observed at the culmination of the competition revealed that education was the most preferred philanthropic cause for donors, with 70% of the total donations or Rs. 70,05,612 raised for non-profits in the education sector. Parivaar Education Society, a Kolkata based organization working for the overall care and development of underprivileged and vulnerable children, including orphans, street children, abandoned and impoverished children from tribal areas, collected the maximum funds of Rs. 26,28,395, followed by Sant Singaji Education Society, a co-educational college with a focus on educating the rural youth, based in Madhya Pradesh, which collected Rs. 13,72,766. The Society for Development Activities, based in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, collected Rs. 11,22,133 for their flagship initiative ProjectKHEL that uses the concept of play and fun as development tools to engage with children and impart life skills education.

A region-wise comparison of fundraising efforts revealed that cumulatively, the highest donations, i.e. Rs. 30,13,186 came from the southern region of the country, comprised of funds raised from three regional teams – Chennai Changemakers (Rs.14,69,699), Bangaluru Bravehearts (Rs.13,68,642) and Telugu Titans (Rs.1,74,845). This was possible through maximum retail donations received from South India, as non-profits from the region optimised social media to expand their donor base.

Speaking about the success of the 2017 edition of the Giving Premier League, Rahul Chovva, CEO and Director of LetzChange, said, “We are overwhelmed with the response received by the Giving Premier League this year. More than 100 non-profits took part in the campaign and a nationwide network of over 6000 donors came forward to support and generously donate to the organizations of their choice. We saw healthy competition among regions whose NGOs, irrespective of size and location, were enthused to engage donors for the causes they espouse. The Eastern team, for example, which remained in the bottom rung in previous editions of the competition, performed remarkably well this year by securing the leading position in the League. Our aim, year-on-year, is to build awareness and trust for online giving, and LetzChange in particular, which helps people make online donations through an easy, trusted and user friendly interface. We will continue to on-board and support more non-profits in helping them raise donations to advance their causes. We are big believers that online social giving, if used optimally, can be a game changer for philanthropy in India.”

Vinayak Lohani, Founder, Parivaar Education Society, the winning NGO team from West Bengal, said, “It is challenging to raise donations for charity and development work in India, but thanks to the LetzChange platform, we have realised the power of social media and have learnt to use technology to showcase our work to a larger network of donors. Every year, we participate in the annual fundraising competition by LetzChange, and we are very happy to have won the fundraising challenge this year. Currently, we have around 1500 children in our residential facility, majority of them being girls. We envision adding 1000 more children in the next two years to our education society and work towards their development. The amount that we have raised through the Giving Premier League will be utilized towards build the infrastructure, purchasing inventories and improving the existing facilities at Parivaar.”

The 2017 Giving Premier League saw participation from 105 non-profits across 14 states across India. Some of the non-profits included Teach for India and IDEA Foundation from Mumbai, Sevalaya and Bhumi from Tamil Nadu, Vrutti from Karnataka, Milaan from Uttar Pradesh, and Sita Gramodyog Vikas Sansthan from Bihar, to name a select few. The League aims at removing physical barriers that stop prospective donors from contributing to society, by allowing them to use LetzChange’s trustworthy and dependable online NGO aggregator platform along with their own social networks, to raise funds for the causes they believe in.

A dedicated team at LetzChange also works closely with the participating non-profits to educate them about digital literacy, training them on the use of social media and making them self-reliant. This year, 73% of the participating non-profits used social media channels to market themselves and create online campaigns to showcase their work and expand their donor network.

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