India’s social sector stands at an inflection point. Despite economic uncertainty and the continuing impact of Covid-19, Indian philanthropy has continued to flourish. Alongside that growth has come a new understanding of how philanthropy can make a difference in society—that is, how donors’ gifts can have an impact.
The wealthiest givers will play a pivotal role in whether Indian philanthropy achieves its potential for social impact. Consider what might happen if the wealthiest in India donated the same percentage of their net worth per year as their peers in the US? Under that scenario, in which India’s growing middle class and mass affluent also increase their giving, total giving would reach $58 billion in 2026.
In this report on the future of domestic philanthropy in India, we focus on two especially large and important categories—namely, the wealthiest givers and corporate givers, the latter through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) investments—and how their giving can make a greater impact. Based on our conversations with 61 donors, nongovernmental organisation leaders, CSR heads, and sector experts about what’s driving their giving and how they’re seeking to make a difference, we consider whether such an extraordinary level of growth could actually happen and we document some themes that emerged from our conversations.
The short answer is—it could, and here’s how.