A common trend is observed in the country during the last quarter of every financial year – the salaried class, upper middle class and elite class rushing to ‘invest’ in charitable causes in order to save tax. While these people stand to benefit from minimising tax deductions, it throws up a philanthropic question – is India ready to give genuinely for the good of the nation, without any strings attached?
Perhaps if people were presented an option to choose a social cause that they strongly feel for and to contribute towards it from the convenience of their homes or offices, this trend could change. Perhaps the focus could shift to an act of kindness towards another living being, with tax saving simply as a fringe benefit.
Keeping this in mind, CAF India started the March2Give campaign in 2015 to encourage society to give voluntarily to uplift the marginalised sections of society that are in desperate need of help. Apart from enjoying the feeling of goodwill and satisfaction, donors are also entitled to 50% tax exemption on their donation under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.
Traditionally, Indians are a generous people. However, with lifestyles becoming increasingly hectic, a comprehensive and effective plan to improve strategic giving in the country is imperative. This plan would need to target all classes that can afford to contribute and seek to save tax. Moreover, giving without purpose or a feel for the cause may not have the desired impact on the people who badly need help.
Despite the mammoth population and a robust economy, India sits on the 106th position in the world in terms of global generosity, according to the latest CAF World Giving Index 2015 (WGI) report. What is more dismal is that we come in last among the eight South Asian countries ranked by generosity as per the same report. The annual CAF World Giving Index is a unique study of global charitable behaviour based on surveys in 145 countries. On the bright side, India has the maximum number of givers in the world, and this is where our strength lies.
India marches rapidly towards economic prosperity, but the nation will truly become prosperous when every citizen is cared for and set on the path of development. All it takes is being aware and sensitive towards the needs of the lesser privileged and providing them our constant support.
As per the trend discussed earlier, typically, a spurt in donations from January to March has been monitored every year. Moreover, with the growing awareness about tax-benefits, the incidence of donations has steadfastly risen over the years. CAF India witnessed a nearly 60% increase in donations in the last four months of the financial year 2014.
March2Give initiative is a cause-neutral initiative making it conducive for individuals to choose from a number of causes close to their heart – education, sanitation, women empowerment, health, livelihood development, elderly care, disability and many more.
Here are a few benefits of contributing to March2Give campaign:
As India rides the growth curve, let us not forget the India that is still struggling for survival. Yes, we want to save tax, but let’s expand our minds and hearts to make place for a bigger agenda – helping someone who truly needs it.
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India is a registered not-for-profit organization established in New Delhi, India in 1998 nurturing the culture of giving with impact. The imbibing of this culture emboldens our approach of creating a positive change in the community by reaching to the last mile person.