Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India believes, ‘doing good is good business’. Much before the Corporate Social Responsibility Act was passed by the government, CAF India has been helping companies maximise their social impact through a strategic approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and philanthropy in the country. CAF India helps engage corporates with some of the most pressing social issues today by leveraging their core areas of work and resources, thus enabling them to transform lives and communities.
Meenakshi Batra, Chief Executive, CAF India, adds “CSR provides a unique opportunity to add value and demonstrate the social responsibility of businesses by aligning CSR strategies with companies’ objectives and core values. The roles and responsibilities under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is still evolving for all the key stakeholders, including the corporate and the not-for-profit sector. Even with all this there is no ignoring the fact that CSR is now an undeniable aspect of every company’s game plan. We are only in the third year since the CSR rules under Companies Act came into being. CAF India has been able to make deep inroads since the last 2 years to guide companies to formulate impactful CSR strategies that align their business objectives with social responsibilities. The not-for-profit organisation is playing a key role by encouraging companies to spend on CSR activities, aiming to create a favourable atmosphere for sustainable growth, responsible business behaviour and working with important stakeholders to make giving more effective.’’
CAF India believes in walking every step of the CSR journey with its corporate partners – enabling them to focus on what matters most, ensuring credibility of projects through robust due diligence of implementing partners, hands-on implementation, monitoring and evaluation – all necessary to do good, the right way.
Established in 1998, CAF India has been helping companies, PSUs, philanthropists and foundations to address causes they care about. Its network of over 500 NGOs across the country positions it strongly to carry out social development initiatives with maximum reach. From planning and reviewing the company’s CSR strategy to implementing it, CAF India stands firm with its corporate partners to make a meaningful impact.
Benefits of Association
• Experience of managing a wide array of causes
• Access to more than 500 validated NGO partners
• Rigorous due diligence of implementing NGO partners to lend credibility to CSR projects
• Presence in over 23 states
• In-depth understanding of the CSR space and the social sector
• Dedicated CSR advisory team
• On-ground implementation at every stage to ensure efficient achievement of targets
• Capacity building of NGO partners to ensure maximum impact
• Regular monitoring visits to track implementation
• Comprehensive evaluation and reporting
• Impact assessments to evaluate effectiveness of your CSR strategy
• Structured volunteering initiatives for employees
• Empanelled by Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) as a credible agency
CAF India is committed to managing how an organisation impacts and is impacted by its key stakeholders – crucial for sustainability of the business. It believes that stakeholder engagement forms the basis of any organisation’s CSR agenda and therefore it follows a strategic approach.
Ms. Batra is optimistic about what the future has in store to realise CSR goals, adding, “CSR provides you with an opportunity beyond mere compliance – an opportunity to lead the way, to reap reputational rewards, to engage and empower your stakeholders and to make an impact on social issues that are key to your business.”
Turning CSR strategies into reality
With its programmatic expertise, CAF India identifies the social causes that their contribution should support and the type of charities that work on these thematic areas to achieve the desired impact. CAF India not only helps corporates conceptualise the idea, but also helps build a long term sustainable strategy for CSR initiatives. Its CSR Advisory team develops a strategy in alignment with its core business areas, so it can become an integral value-add to one’s business.
CAF India has implemented some of the most innovative projects in different thematic areas like water, sanitation and health, livelihood, disaster management, environment and nutrition. Employee engagement is also an important part of programme management. It facilitates engagement programmes and volunteering events for employees to help draw the company closer to achieving its CSR objectives. CAF India provides effective communication support (online and offline) to add voice to social investments, assisting its partners in designing a 360-degree comprehensive communication plan that helps a company’s CSR initiative stand out, ensures maximum visibility and establishes brand presence across online and offline channels.
Evaluating the effectiveness of CSR projects is one of the most important steps for end-to-end implementation. CAF India provides technical support in developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks for companies, conducting baseline and need-assessment studies, defining processes and reporting frameworks to measure outcomes and monitor progress. This helps to know whether objectives were met and money was judiciously spent. Reports are sent regularly to donors to help them measure their returns on their philanthropic investments.