Sincerity and dedication the hallmark of N & M, shine through each meticulously prepared PowerPoint presentation. Endless hours of extensive research in collection of data appropriate to each customized requirement, then codified, analysed, assimilated to comprise a continuous systematic whole is delivered with intense clarity & confidence.

Each sub-title with its relevant subsidiary bullet points so thoroughly thought through and assembled virtually splitting hours, is mind boggling in its conception & execution, intuitive & methodical, one blending into another, every possible aspect of the subject considered without repetition, each microscopic dot in its assigned slot.

We the recipients, are most appreciative of your combined effort and devotion extended beyond the call of duty. No words can express our deep gratitude to you for the over whelming, owe inspiring treatment of the material so specially conceived and graciously extended to a relatively insignificant, unknown organization. Not only has your shared experience made an indelible mark on every member of the advisory board & the staff of AJJDC, but also, most endearingly, the patience, understanding, humility, amiability, time & energy expended.

Kudos to both – Veritable role models to emulate. May your tribe increase.
Very often, we find people who want to start non-profits but do not know how to go about it. We also find established organizations struggling with the bevy of laws we have in India, especially in Maharashtra, such as the Bombay Public Trust Act, the Societies Registration Act, the Income Tax Act and the FCRA. In times of difficulty, most non-profits need a friend, an advisor whom they can talk to and who can guide them on how the laws apply to them, what elements they need to take care of and so on. CAP has provided yeoman service to hundreds of NGOs grappling with these issues. For people like me, it is reassuring to know that if an NGO needs this kind of assistance, all we have to do is to direct them to CAP.
CAP is a very valuable partner for Child Rights and You (CRY), particularly in financial and legal matters. For over a decade, CAP’s partnership with CRY has been that of an enabler (very similar to CRY’s partnership with its grassroots-level projects). CRY acts as a catalyst: a link between grassroots-level partners and their work with children on the one hand; and individuals and corporations that contribute their money, time and skills, on the other. As a custodian of these resources, it is extremely essential and crucial for CRY to ensure accountability and transparency at all times. One of the organizations that has provided quality support in these matters has been CAP.

The CAP team has always been there whenever we needed their advice and guidance. They have supported us and helped our teams adhere to the many compliances (and subsequent changes therein) required of organizations like ours, such as the FCRA, or the Income Tax or BPT Act. For instance, when the Ministry of Home Affairs made amendments to the FCRA Act and Rules 2010, CAP provided us with the best advice on interpretations of the additional clauses and articulated effective and efficient solutions on the implementation of the various new rules under this Act.

For the NGO sector, organizations like CAP are crucial as they provide vital guidance and capacity-building services that strengthen accountability, particularly in the legal and financial areas. While this role may not be visible to the public at large, it is crucial in ensuring the safe and effective use of public resources and trust.
Having worked at Prithvi Theatre for 22 years and now with our fledgling organization, Junoon, in the field of theatre development and promotion, the task at hand is enormously difficult, as it lacks infrastructure and funding in India. Also, it is often looked upon by our authorities as a ‘commercial’ engagement. In this precarious scenario, it is of paramount importance to be well-informed.

In 1999 (I think it was), I was invited by the Ford Foundation to Goa for a seminar. At that time, I was ‘green’ in the NGO world, and it was here that I first heard Mr. Noshir Dadrawala give a talk and interact with us. It was a wonderful revelation to find a resource of so much information in one person! And this was my real introduction to CAP and its work. While working at Prithvi Theatre, my father had introduced me to Mr. Chari, the ex-Income Tax officer who was a co-founder of CAP. Over the years I had a few opportunities to meet with Mr. Chari for advice on certain Trust issues. There were also significant interactions with Noshir and my respect for CAP increased because of his sheer passion for and belief in his subject.

I have been a silent crusader for CAP in my field of theatre – introducing theatre people from across the country to its work. CAP has also played a pivotal role in informing/advising various theatrewallahs individually, through the India Theatre Forum (ITF), and now through Junoon.

This is truly a precious resource and advisory centre, and it is hugely reassuring to know we have an organization that we can depend upon to advice us on legal, governmental and institutional issues.
While my work on tobacco control began at the Prince Ali Khan Hospital in Mazgaon, I soon concluded that tobacco consumption starts at a very young age and unless the reasons for consumption were addressed, our efforts would always be reactive rather than preventive. So, we started an anti-tobacco project at the hospital that targeted college students.

Another realisation dawned soon after: most tobacco users start much earlier, during their school days. That was when the Salaam Bombay Foundation was born, with the vision of working with school children and amalgamating tobacco awareness projects with education initiatives.

We developed an in-school and after-school model that found a way to engage in the solution - children who were part of the problem. Years of work and experience in this field has shown that tobacco addiction is a result of a lack of life skills. Hence, all our programmes are designed to address life skills development. Sports and the arts are the tools we use to convey the message about healthy living and to develop skills in children that further lead to their personal and economic development. Children also learn leadership skills that equip them to change the system from within - to ensure better enforcement of existing tobacco control laws. The children come out of these programmes more confident and better able to deal with peer pressure. Some even get scholarships to colleges and gain better jobs and recognition in their chosen fields.

Today Salaam Bombay Foundation is present in over 200 government schools in Mumbai and over 20,000 schools across Maharashtra. We have trained and gained the support of over 35,000 government functionaries and 500 NGOs in Maharashtra. We can proudly claim to have impacted the lives of over three million children.

With about 400 million people under the age of 18, we are going to have a very sick generation if we do not protect our children. While continuing to work at the individual, school and community levels, Salaam Bombay Foundation has stepped up its activities at the policy formulation and implementation level, to increase consciousness of the problem and to work towards a complete ban of all tobacco products in Maharashtra.

When we began to work on the concept of our foundation, we realised that the NGO field had no framework in place that could guide start-up NGOs – no management, financial and governance systems that we could study and adapt to suit our specific needs. There was nobody to advise us on issues ranging from which Act or provision of law the organization should be registered under, to what circumstances were to be considered while determining the same, the systems to be set in place etc.

Russi Lala, who was then on the board of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust suggested we meet with Noshir Dadrawala of CAP. Noshir held our hands through that difficult time. It was he who advised us to register under Section 25 of the Companies Act and answered all our other related queries through CAP.

From the very beginning, CAP was involved in helping Salaam Bombay Foundation implement its structure – managerial, accounting and financial. It helped us understand the complicated world of NGO legalities, guided us in setting up good governance practices and advised us on non-profit taxation matters.

CAP has several strengths that make it a must-have resource for any NGO at any stage of its development. Its knowledge of the sector and the breadth of its experience make it a valuable knowledge resource. Additionally, its information and advice can be relied upon to be absolutely credible. Its illustrious board comprises members with extensive corporate experience as well as sound philanthropic credentials, thus making it more attuned to the challenges and realities facing NGOs today.

CAP is a one-stop shop for any NGO today that wishes to have a robust start without having to re-invent the wheel. Their extensive experience and knowledge of and commitment to the sector are reflected in the quality of their contributions. Their many value-added services (newsletter, conferences) provide learning material for us all. NGOs would be served well by their association with CAP.
When I moved to India 14 years ago to start an organization which provided managerial support and funding to high-impact non-profit organizations and social businesses, the task was (and still is, in fact) a herculean one. I received quite a bit of misinformation regarding the setting up of this new entity and its legal status. Lawyers would tell me one thing, while accountants told me the exact opposite. After meeting with over 30 ‘experts’, I was more confused than ever by the labyrinth of laws and rules needed to first set up and then run a non-profit entity in India, and thereafter the varied permissions needed to give donors a tax deduction and bring in foreign funding.

It was not until I met with Mr Noshir Dadrawala that my concerns and doubts were put to rest. I read through his book Management of Philanthropic Organizations quickly, then met him personally and decided that setting up a Section 25 Company was imperative. He was able to break down the registration process in such detail that not only did I understand it, I found myself using the same textbook to explain it to accountants, lawyers and government officials who were involved in this process. It also helped me advice many other organizations on concrete, legal ways to set up a non-profit organization. His book is the first and only document available on creating a legally-compliant non-profit organization and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start a non-profit organization in India.
QMed is a foundation that teaches both health professionals and consumers how to search the Internet for relevant, authentic and evidence-based health information. Often this is difficult to explain, and Noshir Dadrawala of the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy got this right when I met him the first time! (I had gone to the CAP office after reading one of their publications and wanting some more.) This was all I needed to believe that I would learn a lot here.

Since then, CAP has been my source for almost any answer we needed. CAP’s workshops are events we try not to miss, because it is a certainty that we will learn something new each time! The most important lesson for us was about FCRA donations: that the source, and not the currency, determines whether the donation goes into an FCRA Account. Another time, CAP also helped us solve a complex issue relating to one foreign donation and it being credited into our account.

I believe CAP is an organization that has years of collective wisdom on the subject of non-profits. Coupled with that is the genuine desire to help any NGO with advice, follow-ups, publications and high quality workshops. I would not hesitate to say that it is a dream resource for NGOs. If I have a question about issues in the NGO space, the first contact detail that I think of is CAP!
I have known CAP for close to 20 years now, through the various NGOs that I have been associated with either as a founder or in other capacity. To the best of my knowledge, CAP was a pioneering NGO, which was specifically formed to guide and assist other aspiring or established NGOs in the often bewildering and unclear areas of charity laws, relevant taxation laws, FCRA etc. Under the able leadership of Noshir, CAP has set high standards of professionalism in the quality and delivery of advisory services that it renders to the non-profit sector in India.

What I personally find most impressive is Noshir’s speedy response to any query. A few months ago, I went to him for advice on a certain complicated restructuring of activities that we were contemplating at Magic Bus, in the context of the Income Tax Act. I expected that it would take at least two meetings to resolve. However, to my surprise and delight, Noshir suggested a tax-efficient solution within 15 minutes of our first meeting itself! It is this ability to provide quick and reliable solutions that has placed CAP in the unique position it occupies today.
CAP: A quarter century and more of contribution to social progress in India.

For more than a quarter-century, the Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy has played a special role in facilitating the growth and effectiveness of philanthropy and non-profit activities in Mumbai, Maharashtra and throughout India. CAP and its dynamic leader Noshir Dadrawala have worked with philanthropies, large and small, to negotiate the complexities of India's regulatory environment and in turn, foundations and other non-profit entities have come to trust CAP's fact-based, altruistic and effective advice. CAP has also served as an important bridge between the Indian philanthropic and voluntary sector and the world. As an academic and as a former programme officer with the Ford Foundation in India, who has had the distinct privilege of working closely with CAP and Noshir, I salute CAP's sustained accomplishments of the past quarter-century and more, and join CAP in looking toward the future.
There are very few organizations similar to CAP in our country and CAP deserves to be recognized and supported for the services it has provided over almost three decades.
Rati Forbes
Director, Forbes Marshall Ltd Chairperson, CAP Board of Directors

© Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy
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