Our approach to giving is to support NGOs that have a low cost/rapidly scaleable model and are run by not just do gooders but capable leaders and managers.
We have been supporting Pratham for a number of years and have tracked its performance and progress very closely,including numerous site visits(some of them unannounced).
Its amazing how effective they have been and how they have evolved over the years.
They have a no frills ,low cost operation and have always been transparent(sometimes their reports specific to our target donation get delayed,but they always send them).
We normally donate anonymously,but this NGO does such good work that we have pitched it to many many people,so that others may be able to help as well.
Review from Guidestar
I have always been very impressed with Pratham's stories and activities to eradicate child labor. Also, I think very highly of Pratham teachers and their dedication to this cause. Their ASER 2009 program and Read India initiative have been really good.
I have been involved in this organization since 2001 as a volunteer fundraiser. I have watched with pride the success of the mission of Pratham - every child in school and learning. If you make education available next door and fun - children will learn. It is a simple concept!
I have heard about this organization for a long time, but than I had a chance to attend events. What I saw there was very impressive, more than what I expected. Giving a hope to children and let them know that humanity is still alive, people care. Children get education which is a very vital part for their future as well as country’s future. Adult gets job to teach this children which provides for their family needs. Pratham is People’s network for betterment of people. Pratham is reaching its goal in minimum expenses by its highly professional and dedicated volunteers.
I have been a Pratham volunteer and donor for over five years. I have visited Pratham programs in Dharavi and other slums in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Auranagabad, New Delhi. Each of my visits has been reassuring that Pratham is making a big difference and very focused on its mission to ensure all children are in school and learning well. I am convinced that my time and money spent on Pratham is my best investment with lifelong dividends in the form of smiles on the faces of children. Go visit Pratham.
Once you are introduced to Pratham first hand in India it is hard not to get involved in helping the organization carry out its mission: Every child in school and learning well. I was introduced to Pratham in December 2005 on a visit to Mumbai. Visiting India for the first time it was very clear that India is a country of contrast: the very rich right next to the very poor. The post secondary education system is set up as a pure meritocracy, yet the poor are not afforded primary education to enable themselves to even get to the level to test for entrance into these universities. What is powerful about the work that Pratham is doing is that Pratham helps equalize the playing field and enables underprivileged children to receive an education and have more opportunities for their future. After visiting Pratham, supporting the organization was an easy decision.
What really attracted me to Pratham was its focus on the efficiency of its funds utlization and on improving the effectiveness of its programs. I feel it brings necessary private sector discipline to a public cause. Leveraging off volunteers and government infrastructure (where possible), Pratham strives to keep overhead costs to a minimum. It is reassuring to know that only a minimal amount of the money donated will be lost to friction. Additionally, it is refreshing to see the close cooperation between Pratham and policy think-tanks such as MIT's poverty action Lab to constantly monitor Pratham's programs and finesse it to make them more effective. This hard-headed approach to its mission makes me comfortable that my donations will not be lost in a sea of good-intentions but will actually be put to work to deliver results
Education not just helps a person how to make a living, but also how to live. I have found Pratham to be very effective in educating and providing right guidance to less fortunate amongst us. I got a chance to visit few of Pratham projects around Ahmedabad, and got first hand view of how enthusiatic teachers were, how knowledgeable and dedicated its support staff is and how excited and interested were the kids going to Pratham schools. In addition to being a donor, visit to Pratham projects has inspired me to be a volunteer member of Pratham team delivering education to needy and underprivileged kids. I hope to participate in near future. I would strongly recommend Pratham as a first choice for charity.
If Education is a Passport to Success - then Pratham Program is their VISA stamp...Pratham is about 4 S's Pratham is about SCALE, reaching tens of millions of kids in India across all states... Pratham is about SUSTAINABILITY, with lowest overhead cost of any NGO (The kids does not go to school, the school comes to the kid!) Pratham is about SIMPLICITY, whose success can be measured, monitored, replicated and rewarded. This is core IP of Pratham! Pratham is about SUCCESS in the smile of a child's eye, and thirst of knowledge to become 'street-smart': achieve the wisdom of when to say NO and when to say YES!
Pratham USA with its grass root initiatives in Indai understands the importance of education for children. Every child has the right to education and dream big. Pratham, through its education projects, delivers this to children in India. More than 92 percent of the donations made to Pratham go directly to these projects in India benefiting children. One of the best charities in India. Please take a look at their IRS 990 and you will be assured that your donations are benefiting to improve literacy and reduce child labor in India. Please visit my page http://www.firstgiving.com/gautamsachdev