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mid-day turns 41: Virtual boost to on ground operations

Updated on: 13 July,2020 10:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anju Maskeri |

This Virar-based marketing professional is helping non-profits re-engineer growth using new technology when grants have dried up

mid-day turns 41: Virtual boost to on ground operations

Kamalamma, a street vendor in Bengaluru, managed to start a new line of business selling groundnuts through an online fundraiser launched by Udhyam

Tamanna Gupta
Umanshi Marketing
Conceived a digital fundraiser for a Bengaluru non-profit to help street vendors during lockdown

Tamanna Gupta has an overriding obsession: to create brands out of organisations. Over the past 16 years, she has worked with 60 pedigreed companies across sectors.

But, it's one thing to devise marketing strategies for HSBC, Bridgestone and Qatar Airways, and quite another to uncover business goals for an obscure non-profit in the hinterland. It's the latter that Gupta is championing with her role as the virtual CMO or chief marketing officer for social sector enterprises.

Tammanah Gupta
Tamanna Gupta

Since March, the IIM Bangalore alumnus has been helping social incubators like UnLtd, Upaya, Social Alpha and Raay Foundation, which run NGOs across the country, to reengineer their growth during lockdown. Fancy powerpoint presentations and gyaan on digitisation don't work here, says the Virar resident.

"If you ask them to go digital, they won't know where to start. They are severely resource-constrained, which is why you need to put yourself in their shoes." Her role is to help organisations look at the larger picture, identify where they are lacking, execute campaigns and show results. With CSR funds being diverted for the state and centre's COVID initiatives, grants have come to a halt and NGOs are struggling to continue field operations.

According to her, every business strategy needs to keep the beneficiary at the centre. To start with the basics is the mantra. "For instance, your organisation might have a robust TB-elimination programme, but if your target audience is not getting two square meals a day, your campaign will fall on deaf ears." Her fundraising initiatives often include generating resources to satisfy the fundamental needs of the target group, before moving on to other objectives. After creating the campaign, they analyse which channel is helping the outfit get the most traction; whether it's the social media posts or a newspaper article.

Recently, she conducted a fundraising campaign for Udhyam Learning Foundation, a Bengaluru-based non-profit, to help street vendors sustain themselves during lockdown. "One of the beneficiaries, Kamalamma, got a grant of R5,000. "We were amazed to learn that she invested a part of it to buy groundnuts and start another line of business. She earned R5,250 in one week. Micro-entrepreneurs in this segment are some of the most enterprising people we've seen."

What trumps media outreach, lead generation and campaigns, is the narrative that needs to be built "To make people aware of the kind of activities NGOs are involved in, and engage with them, is what I hope to do."

With CSR funds being diverted for the state and centre's COVID initiatives, grants have come to a halt and NGOs are struggling to continue field operations

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