On the first-ever India Giving Day, the highest-earning ethnic group in the US gets a chance to step up and help their homeland
Published in Business News
Members of the Indian diaspora living in the U.S. are being urged to step up and channel money back to the homeland during a 24-hour charitable drive.
On March 2, 2023, the first India Giving Day will take place. The plan is to encourage U.S.-based donors, especially the nation’s 2.7 million Indian immigrants and the roughly 1.3 million U.S.-born Americans of Indian origin, to give to Indian causes in unison.
As 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.
The campaign’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 – more than anywhere else in the world.
The India Philanthropy Alliance, a coalition of 14 U.S. nonprofits that fund development and humanitarian projects in India, is coordinating the event. Its members already raise a total of almost US$60 million annually in the U.S. 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 U.S. to support its members, such as CRY America, a children’s rights nonprofit, and Sehgal Foundation, an organization promoting rural development in India.
Giving days, 24-hour campaigns to raise awareness and donations for specific organizations and causes, have become more common in the U.S. over the past 15 years. There are many for schools, hospitals and many other kinds of organizations but Giving Tuesday is the most popular. Held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it raised over $3 billion for a wide array of causes in 2022.
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 – a long list that includes actress Mindy Kaling, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, economist Amartya Sen, Microsoft CEO and Chairman Satya Nadella – and the entire Indian American community.
That’s because Indian Americans are the nation’s highest-earning ethnic group, and yet they give away a smaller share of their income than the U.S. average.