Indian diaspora in the US urged to step up and channel money back to the homeland
The India Philanthropy Alliance, a coalition of 14 US nonprofits that fund development and humanitarian projects in India, is organizing the first-ever India Giving Day on March 2, 2023 to let Indian Americans help their homeland.
Members of the Indian diaspora living in the US are being urged to step up and channel money back to the homeland during a 24-hour charitable drive.
Read: India Giving Day announced to grow Indiaâ€™s philanthropic pie (October 6, 2022)
The plan is to encourage US-based donors, especially the nationâ€™s 2.7 million Indian immigrants and the roughly 1.3 million US-born Americans of Indian origin, to give to Indian causes in unison.
It gives the highest-earning ethnic group in the US a chance to step up and help their homeland, says Susan Appe, Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York.
â€œAs a scholar interested in the role that charitable donations play in international development, I expect this fundraising drive to raise millions of dollars for India-supporting nonprofits,â€ she writes in an article in Conversation, an independent nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.
The campaignâ€™s organizers will raise money to fund projects that will improve education, health care and gender equality and meet other important needs in a country with 228.9 million people living in poverty, according to the 2022 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index â€“ more than anywhere else in the world.
India Philanthropy Alliance members already raise a total of almost $60 million annually in the US. Their goal is to amass more funding collectively by holding an annual single-day push.
Although the alliance will welcome donations from anywhere and anyone, its main focus is to encourage Indian Americans and Indian immigrants who live in the US to support its members, such as CRY America, a childrenâ€™s rights nonprofit, and Sehgal Foundation, an organization promoting rural development in India.
All told, Indian Americans give an estimated $1 billion annually to charity. There is the potential for even higher sums being raised from the many very rich Indian Americans â€“ a long list that includes actress Mindy Kaling, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, economist Amartya Sen, Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella â€“ and the entire Indian American community, Appe writes.
â€œThatâ€™s because Indian Americans are the nationâ€™s highest-earning ethnic group, and yet they give away a smaller share of their income than the US average,â€ she notes.
The alliance aims to see Indian American giving triple to $3 billion, with some of that total funding development and humanitarian projects in India. Indiaâ€™s government has also been vocal about wanting Indian Americans to contribute more toward Indiaâ€™s development.
â€œIndia Giving Day is an example of diaspora philanthropy â€“ giving back to oneâ€™s homeland, often by pooling resources with others who share the same heritage,â€ Appe writes.
â€œThis giving can be in the form of money, or time spent volunteering for a cause. It has also been called homeland philanthropy, migrant philanthropy and refugee philanthropy.â€
A common way that immigrants and people whose parents or grandparents immigrated to the US send money back to their homelands is through remittances â€“ dispatching money across international lines to family and friends to help them get by.
Total remittances globally grew 5% in 2022 to $626 billion. The flows to India increased much more sharply, shooting up 12% to $100 billion.
â€œWhile India is of one of the worldâ€™s fastest-growing economies, it also has daunting needs when it comes to addressing poverty in its lowest-income regions,â€ Appe noted. â€œFor that reason, I believe any drive to encourage the flow of charitable dollars to India is to be welcomed.â€
â€œThe cash raised through the India Giving Day campaign will help fund an array of projects, such as nutritional programs for children and expectant mothers, educational centers for child laborers and efforts to supply sewing machines for womenâ€™s cooperatives,â€ Appe noted.