Many international NGOs receive funding from the west to implement programs in Asia. But as economies in India and China develop, many savvy, international, charitable organizations are successfully raising money from donors in India and China. U.S. universities have been somewhat successful raising major gifts from Chinese and Indian alums. But now, even groups like Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision and many others are also finding success.
We knew philanthropy in Asia was growing but it was difficult finding data on which organizations donors were giving to. Now that is changing, as organizations are willing to share their data. Save the Children, which operates in 120 countries, ranks India on par with donors from Italy, Germany, Romania and South Korea. According to the Financial Times blog post by James Lamont, As Asia emerges, so do philanthropists:
Indian donors grew to 50,000 donors from 3,000 in two years and contributed more than $11 million last year.
World Vision recorded a 45% increase in donations last year from Indian donors and expects similar growth in 2010.
International NGOs are bringing their fundraising skills from the west and adapting them to fit the local context. Many are finding local fundraisers and bringing in fundraising experts from the west to supplement their training. For example, my friend recently retired as a development director from an ivy league school in the U.S. She is currently on contract with an international environmental conservation group to train their fundraisers all over the Asia Pacific on major gifts solicitation.
I believe this is a good trend for Asia and will bring many benefits to the field. If more fundraisers are trained and there is a baseline of best fundraising practices, more trust can be built between donors and the organizations. Over time, local organizations can learn from these practices and also raise funds from local donors. The increased professionalism and industry standards will help strengthen the overall sector in Asia. What do you think?