The official GuideStar India blog

Welcome, NGOs and all those interested in NGOs in India!

If you are running an NGO or working for one, you will find opportunities and resources for your organisation.

If you or your organisation want to direct your time, money, products or services to NGOs that can can make the most effective and efficient use of your donations or grants, you will find this blog and useful to announce your offer to NGOs.

You will also get to read about statistics and issues concerning transparency & accountability of the Indian voluntary sector.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

GuideStar India wishes you a very happy New Year!

Not a single day passes without interacting with NGOs at the GuideStar India office. We learn something new every single day as we get to know you better and try to present your work truthfully and effectively. Thanks to each one of you, we got strength to take our baby steps...

We spent the last 8 months building our site and database. We expect to go live with the first set of NGO data early in the new year. Until we have significant stories of change to report, we thought of putting together our smiles for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I will let my light shine...Christmas celebrations at GuideStar India

Our team celebrated Christmas in a special way. Team members highlighted the "spark" in one another and wrote it down on "candles". We all pledged "I will let my Light shine" and noted down in our respective "candles", how we would spread  our light. Our office looks lovely with the decorations we made and it was great fun doing it together. We also screened a short film "I believe..."

We wish every one a Merry Christmas and a very happy new year.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taiwan voluntary sector conference finds session on NGO Accountability in India, relevant

GuideStar India's CEO, Pushpa Aman Singh, was invited to speak about NGO Accountability in India at the International conference on NPO Accountability in Taipei, Taiwan. Pushpa could not go to Taipei due to last minute glitches at the Mumbai airport. However, she addressed the conference via Skype. Thanks to some smart use of technology by GuideStar India and the Taiwan NPO Self Regulation Alliance, the audience had a virtual presentation followed by Q & A. Seen in the picture is Mr Richy Li, Director (News Products, Media Products & Solutions) Yahoo responding to Pushpa's address.

Pushpa gave a brief introduction to the size and structure of the Indian voluntary sector. She pointed out that statutory requirements for NGO accountability and their administration in India was not sufficient for stakeholders to be assured of NGO credibility. She described the various initiatives of the Indian voluntary sector towards promoting NGO transparency and accountability. Chiefly, she described the role of GiveIndia, GuideStar India, Credibility Alliance, the Joy of Giving Week and CSO Partners' Annual report Awards. Pushpa emphasised that NGOs voluntarily participated in initiatives that required them to be transparent & accountable if these resulted in tangible benefits. She also mentioned that several thousand NGOs that were keen to participate in these initiatives could not do so for want of resources to build their capacity. There is also the need to bring thousand of NGOs in remote areas into an electronic database so that they could be made aware of the numerous opportunities that exist. She emphasised the need to make donors (individuals, corporates, foundations and government) aware of the existence of these mechanisms so that they could direct their resources towards NGOs that voluntarily demonstrate accountability.
Pushpa stressed on the need to have easy (low entry barrier) mechanisms such as GuideStar India to allow NGOs to make public disclosure of as little or as much information they could share. GuideStar India allows NGOs to start reporting with just 2 documents (registration certificate and address proof). At the same time, the site (soon to be launched with NGO data) would reward NGOs that report more information and make frequent updates through search results ranking.
Pushpa welcomed the Planning Commission's NGO Partnership System that has over 22,000 NGO records. She expressed concern about some of the government moves such as making FCRA permission for a limited duration, the IT Department stating that 12A could be withdrawn any time and its stand on income earning activities of NGOs. These seem to be quite contrary to the positive tone of the Voluntary Sector Policy, 2007. She welcomed the Planning Commission setting up task forces and committees with NGO representation for implementing the Voluntary Sector Policy, 2007.
The concluding part of the address was devoted to her views about the need for the voluntary sector in India to convert, its various initiatives for transparency & accountability, from small disjointed steps into a coordinated and concerted movement to transform the sector. While NGOs had been successful in pushing for electoral reforms to make politicians accountable, played a key role getting the Right to Information Act passed towards making the government machinery accountable, it has become very critical for the sector to pursue its own accountability with the same passion and zeal.
Reacting to Pushpa's address, Professor Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Department of Sociology, NTU, expressed the desire to interact with Indian organisations as Taiwan makes its progress towards self-regulation of its voluntary sector.
Thank you, Chi and Regina of the Garden of Hope Foundation for inviting GuideStar India and providing all the relevant material on Taiwan's NPO sector. A big thank you to the team at Taiwan NPO Self Regulation Alliance.
For the full article/ presentation, please write to

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How many years do we need complete to apply?

NGOs are eligible to be featured on GuideStar India as soon as they get registered in India as a Trust, Society or Sec 25 Company. All you need is a regsitration certificate and a verifiable address proof (as described in our previous post).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What is GuideStar India's eligibility criteria?

GuideStar India is open to all NGOs registered in India.

To get featured on GuideStar India, an NGO needs to:
1)be registered as Trust/Society/Sec 25 Company in India and
2)have a verifiable address.

What are the minimum documents an NGO is required to give us:

1)Registration Document
any one of: Trust Registration Certificate/ Trust Deed with Sub-Registrar's stamp/ Society Registration Certificate/ Cetificate of Incorpration under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act

2)Address Proof
any of the following, not older than 2 months, stating your address for correspondence: telephone bill/ electricity bill/ bank statement (not bank pass book)

We require photocopies that are attested by the NGO's authorised signatory and carry the NGO's stamp.

Watch out for our post about the Pre-Registration form and process.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Find answers to your questions about GuideStar India

Starting today, we will present excerpts from our FAQs so that you can get answers to your questions about GuideStar India.

How are you connected with GuideStar in the US and the UK?

GuideStar India is set up in collaboration with GuideStar International (GSI), the founders of GuideStar US & UK. GuideStar India is independent of its US and UK counterparts. GSI provides technology and other resources to GuideStar India. We are a part of the GuideStar Alliance, hence connected with all other GuideStars which are emerging in more than 10 countries. We are a part of the global reporting framework developed by GSI, which makes NGOs featured on GuideStar India, also an integral part of the global search across other GuideStars. For more details, visit