How Effective are Food for Education Programmes

If you’re reading this, you should call yourself fortunate. If going back home reminds you of delicious home-cooked food, you should call yourself fortunate. You’re fortunate because you’ve had the opportunity to learn and you’ve always got a tiffin box to carry in your bag or some money in the pocket for buying lunch.

Not many know that India is a home to 33% of world’s undernourished children. How can we not think of helping them? When you’ve more than you need, you should build a bigger table, not a higher fence. Seeing the present context, we need more supporters and food for education programs to get down to showing deep concern, spreading awareness, donating funds and providing healthy meals as an incentive to boost enrolment.

Akshaya Patra recently published its NGO annual report 2015-16 which gives insights into how the organisation reaches out to millions of children. Here’s how Akshaya Patra set forth in the path of reaching out to millions of children and are changing their lives.

A growth that’s no less than massive

Akshaya Patra has grown slowly and steadily. From 1,500 children a day to over 1.6 million children, the growth has been rising. It demonstrates that the role of NGO has always been aboard and determinant toward the goal of providing unlimited food for education. They’ve gone the extra mile, not only in well-managed technology, logistics, quality, and finance but also in strategies for sustainable working. The Foundation has gained trust of the philanthropic donors and beneficiaries as well.

Food for Education motivates children to pursue their dreams

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Children from the marginalised sections of society often wait to pursue their dreams. Food for Education programmes help them in doing this. The blue buses at Akshaya Patra not only carry freshly cooked nutritious meals to 1.6 million children across India but also the smile and hope to get good food. Ambitious beneficiaries like Dashrath Chauhan, Anjali Batti, Saraswathi, and Chetan are some of our much prized stories of hope.

Involvement of public

It is essential for a public-private relationship based organisation to have provisions for public’s involvement. Without the generous help from well-wishers, it is not possible for an NGO to function at all. These organisations act as a medium for the society to show compassion towards the needy. Akshaya Patra provides several opportunities such as fundraising, campaigning, volunteering, partnering and donating online to get involved in this endeavor of eradicating undernourishment and ensuring access to education for all. For accomplishing its mission of feeding 5 million children by 2020, Akshaya Patra gives a shout-out to everyone who is willing to help those in dire need.

Akshaya Patra, an NGO based in Bengaluru, runs Mid-Day Meal Programme in 11 states of India.

To read in Hindi, visit: about NGO in Hindi.

The bond between donors and Akshaya Patra

Donors are the pillars on which a NGO like Akshaya Patra relies on to keep working on its cause. Such is their role that building trust and good relationships is critical to the existence of the organisation. We need to achieve our goal and fulfil our mission and they are there to support us. This is a constant need that is likely be met by a number of donors over time.

Donor Relationship

Our relationship with donors builds a connection that result with potential funding. The stronger that trust and connection, the more likely donor will support Akshaya Patra. But it doesn’t mean that a donor who once supported us will keep extending the favour. So, it is essential to earn their loyalty and trust again and again.

How do you earn this? We have to comply with the rules and regulations and communicate.

When communicating with donors, we have to address the key elements that shape a donor’s perceptions and willingness to continue supporting the mid-day meal programme. Donors want to know:

  • If The Akshaya Patra Foundation is using its funds effectively and efficiently for the intended purpose
  • Are we effecting positive change on the lives of children we serve every day
  • Do we have a good image and reputation

Akshaya Patra has to communicate effectively. It has to be as clear, direct and honest in the communication both verbally and in writing. Follow up on donors regularly. Akshaya Patra needs to send written summaries of key issues and actions. It needs to be responsive to donor requests. Questions need to be asked to understand what is being requested and when it is due. There should be honest interactions.

The Akshaya Patra Foundation has to be realistic and deliver on the promises made. It has to be careful not to compromise the quality of the programme. It has to use donor funds as expected. The financial transparency it observed stringently is also a key factor that allows donors to trust the organisation.

Building a strong relationship with donors through open, two-way communication is the key to making Akshaya Patra successful. The confidence of people in the organization develops the willingness to support.


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