Founding Backgrounder

Preamble: iCONGO was established in December 2004 albeit the planning for iCONGO commenced in the first quarter of 2004. The founders of iCONGO were the prime movers and the pioneers for creating a paradigm shift for fundraising through direct sales and donor loyalty in India with Karma Mitra. They realised that the best way forward for sensitizing people about social issues was through Direct Dialogue or Face to Face fundraising through direct sales. They also realised that the external agencies they were establishing would need to be regulated through standard processes and practices to avoid undercutting or demands for high commissions from funds raised since some charities were doing this by under cutting and not informing the donor about fees paid to the agencies.

iCONGO realised the need for creating a collective that would adhere to standard best practices for promoting ethical social investment from Individual supporters in India by being absolutely 100% transparent, accountable and thus credible. The donor understands that there is a cost for fundraising and is happy if informed about it by giving a proper rationale. The need of the day is to promote "Philanthropy for social justice" (Regd. trademark) where people do not just give but invest with involvement by understanding the issues around the cause that is dear to their heart and wish to support. After all no one just buys shares or mutual funds without due diligence and planning, so why just give without understanding how your money can be used in the best manner.

iCONGO recognizes the fact that people in India, who are natural born givers, want to invest for social issues but do not know how and to whom and why. iCONGO thus offers a choice of all causes through credible pre screened charities that have been doing good work for years. iCONGO is committed to encourage people to become social investors and experience and spread the joy of giving a feeling that is the true return for people's social investment when they get to know the difference they have made in the lives of children and their communities or animals or for environmental issues.

iCONGO is positioned like a facilitator to bridge the gap by creating a movement of socially responsible and caring citizens of India who would like to RIGHT every WRONG by being drivers of change to create a just, caring and humane society. iCONGO aspires to make every Indian citizen recognise the power of 1 and build a GOOD CITIZEN cadre where each 1 of us can make a difference and create a legacy of better world of responsible, caring and just communities who can come together to drive social change.

iCONGO is not an apex body but a co-operative hub and a collective that is a joint venture and the ownership is with all member NGOs who have pledged to adhere to high standards of accountability, transparency and credibility. As a first iCONGO does not retain any administration or transaction fees from funds raised and the donors money is channeled a 100% to the cause directly through the charity the donors' choice. For example in the first quarter of commencing operations we associated with the LIPTON BANGALORE INTERNATIONAL MARATHON and have raised over 4 crores for more than 100 charities in 2 marathons of 2005 & 2006 but we did not retain any percentage or fees from moneys raised.

iCONGO aspires to bring in professionalism in the sector and promote self dependence rather than just depending on grants and donations. iCONGO is also geared to promote social entrepreneurship and enterprise by getting investment from Individuals for long term self sustainability. The credo is to educate, empower and evolve on social issues and responsibility and thus inspire, include and involve one and all Indians to practice true democracy based on the constitution of India which promotes the concept of equal basic, fundamental, social, economical and political rights and dignity for all.

Each of us has a social responsibility and need to contribute and speak out to make a positive change. Social responsibility and development is not the domain of just the media, corporate, government or NGO sector as if each 1 of us come together to try and speak out to RIGHT every WRONG we can together bring about change. After all a lobby is made up of us individuals who believe in the power of 1 and together we can influence positive change and thus adopt, enact and give to ourselves a truly just and caring, democratic India. Come let us practice Philanthropy for social justice by promoting social investment with involvement to get social justice for all fellow citizens of India.

From the constitution of India

"We the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, democratic republic and to secure to all its citizens justice, social, economic and political, liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. Equality of status and of opportunity and to promote among them all. Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation. In our constituent assembly this 26th day of November, 1949, do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution."

So friends let us all come together and observe "26th November" as National Social Justice & Action Day" every year and promote philanthropy for social justice by practicing SOCIAL INVESTMENT with INVOLVEMENT and rekindling the spirit of our constitutional pledge. Remember By the people, of the people, for the people. All us people matter and can together try and RIGHT every WRONG.

Try it and we will succeed in leading a societal change because together as ONE we can RIGHT every WRONG

The positioning: iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGOs) is a first of its kind national collective of various credible, transparent and accountable NGO members registered as promoting members and privilege members. An apex facilitator body of the NGOs, it is formed by the NGOs for creating a collective infrastructure for the NGOs.

The confederation represents various NGOs (who have to adhere to basic credibility draft norms) working on social causes nationally like Child rights and education, community welfare, environment, wildlife and animal rights including stray dogs, HIV positive people, Cancer patients, disability and various other causes. iCONGO's focus is to mainstream grassroots and small NGOs to the citizens as these are NGOs that work with efficient and cost effective models to make a difference for the cause thus ensuring low administration costs and best utilisation and investment of funds given by supporter to address the cause that is dear to the supporters and donors heart.

Positioned and poised to be like a CII or NASSCOM for the NGO or People's sector, iCONGO's main functions and vision are divided in to 4 pivotal cross cutting action areas, "Training & Empowerment", "Policy influencing and lobbying" , "Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Consultancy" and "Fundraising, campaigning and outreach" through mainstream business models. iCONGO aspires to bring in professionalism in the sector and promote self dependence rather than just depending on grants and donations. iCONGO is also geared to promote social entrepreneurship and enterprise by getting investment from Individuals for long term self sustainability. The credo is to educate, empower and evolve on social issues and responsibility and thus inspire, include and involve one and all Indians to practice true democracy based on the constitution of India which promotes the concept of equal basic, fundamental, social, economical and political rights and dignity for all.

A first of its kind the Confederation has a unique empowerment, lobbying and business vision to promote social giving and investment for the larger common good on a sustainable basis by forming as movement with people of India. The idea is to get the people of India involved with the cause on a sustainable basis and sensitise them by mainstreaming the cause by using simple formats for people to understand social issues.