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Exploring the partnerships between NGOs and digital philanthropy

by Dr Shonali Banerjee, Research Associate at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

In her most recent piece for Development in Practice, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) Research Associate Dr Shonali Banerjee investigates the complex role digital crowdfunding platforms play in non-profit fundraising.

Abstract background of glowing particles on a wire mesh landscape.

The article, “Digital philanthropy for the masses: crowdfunding platforms marketising NGO partnerships for individual giving in India”, explores the nebulous area these platforms occupy when partnered with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India. Using data from two prominent crowdfunding platforms to identify their complicated partnerships with NGOs, the article examines the problematic nature of marketised fundraising models.

Shonali Banerjee.
Dr Shonali Banerjee

The piece further explores how by advocating competitive and technologised practices, crowdfunding platforms create tensions between themselves and their NGO partners, who are forced to continuously adjust and innovate their fundraising strategies. Given their emphasis on profit generation, this article argues that digital platforms limit their intention to create inclusive fundraising spaces for NGOs.

Dr Banerjee’s article is part of an important Development in Practice special issue entitled “The private sector in the development landscape”, co-edited by Dr Jason Hart (Bath), Dr Jo-Anna Russon (Nottingham) and Dr Jessica Sklair (Cambridge), which explores a variety of nuanced ways international development actors are partnering with private sector actors to achieve their goals. This piece is based on a paper originally presented to the Development Studies Association Business and Development Study Group in December 2018.