Leveraging technology to maximize potential of CSR
Potential of CSR – Through a multifaceted strategy, the development sector has a profound impact on the lives of recipients. Empirical data from baseline and final project evaluations across industries and regions show the success. However, some places might benefit from some expert assistance. One such area is the grant process, which although it might seem simple at first glance can be difficult for CSRs to navigate. While a CSR’s job may initially appear to be to offer grants to organizations, their work actually doesn’t end there; rather, it just starts. When CSRs have numerous projects to oversee, tracking each one, ensuring compliance across various organizations, monitoring social impact across various locations, and tracking.
Dhwani RIS built mGrant to aid CSRs in managing grant cycles. A web-based tool called mGrant enables businesses to control CSR life cycles. It is a one-stop solution for everything from publishing and advertising RFPs to disbursing funds in accordance with approval status to tracking funds and projects.
Swapnil and Sunandan, the founders, began working on digitising grassroots groups’ operational processes as part of their assignments at the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). After graduating, they applied to the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, where they worked on a project that covered 150 villages in South Gujarat. While working for the Aga Khan, they observed how little technology was used by social enterprises and non-profits. They recognised the need for affordable and accessible tech solutions right away and founded Dhwani Rural Information Systems to fill the gap in technology adoption.
Potential of CSR
Since then, Dhwani has been utilising both newly developed technology and those that already exist, such as data collecting and monitoring systems. Grant administration was one of the most particular issues that Dhwani was able to address inside the social sector. Dhwani learned from conversations with various stakeholders that there is currently no software available to meet the needs of grant management. For instance, Dhwani’s MGrant has been successful in developing impact dashboards and compliance systems that aid in the production of reports that adhere to government guidelines.
In fact, the success stories of the Mahindra Group, a major Indian multinational company with its headquarters in Mumbai, are described below. Every year, the Mahindra Group invests more than Rs. 250 Cr in more than 100 CSR programmes. A unified, integrated IT system was always necessary because of the substantial sum of money invested in CSR. Because every business tracks its CSR initiatives using a different system, the CSR Council is unable to obtain a comprehensive picture of the effects of CSR initiatives. A strong, modern, integrated IT system had to be put in place in order to enable CSR across all Mahindra Group enterprises. In actuality, a platform for workplace volunteering was also developed.
The Mahindra Group uses MGrant as a centralised IT-enabled platform for all Mahindra Group CSR projects. It is used to manage budgets, grant management procedures, gather real-time project data from NGOs, and compile last mile impact across projects and locations. Through an end-to-end solution that would consolidate all workflows and crucial operations in managing a CSR project onto a single platform, the Integrated IT System for CSR has digitalized the entire CSR Lifecycle.
Dhwani has created a wide range of features and functionalities over the years. For mGrant, for instance, we created a detailed Dashboard View of the mGrant Application to help users understand the project’s current and potential impacts. Additionally, it has made grants easier to access because everything related to grants can be found in one location. For instance, CSR can launch RFPs, check compliances, monitor, and distribute resources among various subsidiary organizations, among other things.
The list of MGrant’s features is as follows:
Having a thorough awareness of the issues in the social sector and assembling a team that is committed to resolving those issues is one of the main advantages Dhwani has been able to develop in its seven years of existence.
All of the clients have received ongoing technical help from the RIS team, making it simpler for clients to use technology. Additionally, they have been utilizing our technology to innovate regularly, which has been their strength in developing innovation for the social sector.