Social Media and Fundraising in India – Do we know enough?

There is a pressing need to study the impact of social media on the Indian nonprofit sector, particularly on the growing practice of online fundraising.

Most studies in the area of ‘social media and non-profit fundraising’ are conducted by scholars in the West, which are not necessarily valid in the Indian context.

Indian philanthropy has its own unique organic evolution, shaped by its socio-economic history, culture and political ideologies (UBS AG, 2013). Individual giving, for instance, is largely driven by religious causes in India. Also, two catalytic practices implemented by leading funders globally, including capacity building of the NGO sector, and measurement of the ultimate social impact, are mostly absent in India, (Reddy et al., 2012).

A study by UBS AG (2013) argues that India is well-poised to become a leader in philanthropy, just as the country is evolving into one of the leading producers of wealth. However, despite the promising prospects, relatively little scholarship exists about India’s complex giving landscape; and even lesser about the emerging online giving and social media fundraising realms.

Social media, with their information sharing, relationship building and engagement capabilities, are impacting NGO-donor relationships globally. How are NGOs in India exploiting social media’s unique affordances? Are there any unique deterrents of online giving in India that social media can help address?

Through a series of articles, mostly drawn from an original study conducted about ‘the role of social media in online fundraising in India’, I attempt to share rare and important insights on the topic – from social media tools favoured by NGOs, to strategies used for building donor relationships on Facebook Pages. I hope that the content is of benefit to both NGOs and non-profit marketers in India.


Reddy, N.M., Vaidyanathan, L., Balasubramanian, K., Gorapalli, K. and Sharma, S., 2012. Catalytic philanthropy in India. India: FSG. Available at: <>
UBS AG, 2013. Revealing Indian philanthropy. UK: Alliance Publishing Trust. Available at: <>