Saturday, 25 October 2014

Nature of FCRA-NGOs & their International Donors

This will be a short Post. As I have implored many times before, while NGOs receiving foreign funds via FCRA may appear benign, an understanding of their agenda can be gained only by studying their foreign donors. There is no way to figure out which foreign agency funds which Indian NGOs except through a reverse analyses of the FC6 returns, the efficacy of which was illustrated in one of our earlier Posts.

What are the key characteristics of a FCRA-NGO? We can obtain an understanding by analysing their Names. One way to do this is through a Word Cloud. The height of a word in a word-cloud is proportional to the number of times it appears.

The following analyses use the FC6 returns filed by the FCRA-NGOs for the year 2011-2012.

Analysis of the names of 21,595 FCRA-NGOs spread across 24 States yields the following picture:

Word Cloud of names of Indian NGOs receiving funds via FCRA. Click to enlarge.

Appears benign, right?

Let us carry out an equivalent exercise by examining the foreign donor names (Institutional Donors) recorded in 1,50,375 remittances to these 21,595 FCRA-NGOs. The result is:

Word Cloud of names of foreign Organizations sending funds to Indian NGOs via FCRA. Click to enlarge.


  1. All names were changed to lower case, before clouding.
  2. In the cloud of names of FCRA-NGOs (first picture), the following common words were removed manually: society, trust, foundation, association, centre
  3. In the cloud of names of foreign donors (second picture), the following common words were removed manually: interest, bank, others, society, india, international, foundation, trust, association
  4. Click on each of the Picture to see it at great detail.
  5. A blogpost on State-wise word clouds will appear soon.
                For whom the Bell tolls?

  • The word clouds have been created using Wordle. I thank its developer(s). 
Update (on November 11, 2014)
      A new Post on the same lines as above provides such word clouds for each State. It also provides a brief description (Procedure) of the elements in a FC6 return from which such word clouds were created. Please read that as well.

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