Thursday, 6 November 2014

Donors to FCRA-NGOs Wordclouded (State-wise)


In an old post, we had learnt about the trajectory of foreign funds (via FCRA) to India over the last 17 years. After all, Rs. 11,500 Crore p.a. is not a small sum. We  also understood  "Control NGOs" -- big NGOs in India which then remit FCRA money to smaller ones. We had also seen the huge investments made by FCRA-NGOs towards the purchase of land. We had also arrived at an estimate of the amount of money deposited by them in Fixed Deposits -- around Rs. 6000 Crore. Despite our exhortations, we notice many persons to be unaware of the fact that FCRA funds can be used for Religious Activities. Needless to state, we had examined the fund flows via FCRA to specific religious denominations as well.

We had also seen several long lists: (i) Top-20 NGOs in six States (ii) Chennai FCRA-NGOs List (iii) Hyderabad area NGO List and (iv) District & Town-wise list for Andhra Pradesh. District-wise list of Tamil Nadu is work in progress.

We also learnt about subtle, but non-negligible differences in the sources of funds to different States. For instance, Kerala's sources have a largely Catholic flavour, Tamil Nadu has a Western Europe (& Scandinavian) flavour while Andhra Pradesh (& Telangana) have a more North American one. The evangelical stamp in all these remittances though, has been unmistakable.

Check out the above Posts. They were all based on data available in public domain at the Ministry of Home Affairs' FCRA site. I shall be happy to clarify any doubts.

In a recent Post, we also saw a word cloud of donor names to all Indian FCRA-NGOs. The current Post is similar to it, but is a fine-grained work and presents such clouds for each State.

Foreign Donors: Who are they? What is common between them?

The current Post will unravel the key elements which characterize foreign donors. Let us examine the names of foreign donors to Indian Organizations (referred to commonly as NGOs).

As in the past, the only material that we have access to are the FC6 returns. As mentioned before, there are approximately 21,000 such returns for the year 2011-2012, each filed by one NGO. A FC6 return exhibits donations to an NGO under two sections. (A) Institutional Donor & (B) Individual Donor. Let us understand these through an example:

The  NGO chosen arbitrarily is Gospel Mission of India,  Venugopal Nagar, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh - 522004. It received Rs. 2.26 Crore from abroad in the year 2011-2012. Relevant portion of its FC6 return is shown below:

In the above Picture, the set of Institutional Donors are marked in Red, and the set of Individual Donors are marked in Blue. We are interested in the former.

Examine it carefully so that you can understand the word clouds. An Organization called Gospel Missions of India Inc, Michigan sends money to the Guntur NGO. Also, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Hyderabad has remitted funds to it. This of course, is allowed within FCRA and this blogger had calculated such intra-India fund flows in an earlier Post.

In the current Post, we shall do two kinds of Word Clouds.
  1. Cloud of Full Names of Institutional Donors (We use the tilde (~) symbol between words in a donor name while making the cloud), i.e., the "string"/"phrase" (Joyce Meyer Ministries) will be used as is.
  2. Cloud of Words alone, i.e., the three words -- Joyce, Meyer, and Ministries will be analyzed separately in the word cloud.
The results are analyzed for NGOs located in each State.  Since the image files are large in size, I have not loaded them all into this page. Results for Kerala, for which 16,822 remittances were analyzed, are shown below.

Word Clouds for Kerala

Word Cloud of Full Names of Foreign Donors

Word Cloud of words in Names of Foreign Donors

  1. The word clouds may contain the word "India" or "Other".  These relate to Intra-India fund flows which this blogger has studied before.
  2. Words used for the second word cloud (for each State) were converted  into lower case prior to clouding.
  3. Reiteration: These are NOT word clouds of names of Indian FCRA-NGOs. These ARE word clouds of Institutional Donors to such FCRA-NGOs.
  4. The words are not weighted. The height of a word in the cloud is proportional to the number of times it appears in the Donors' List in 2011-2012. Thus, a foreign Organization which sent $10 one hundred times will appear taller in the cloud than one which sent $1000 only once. For that matter, in the word cloud for Tamil Nadu, you will not see World Vision International which sent Rs. 231.301 Crore to its subsidiary in Chennai in 2011, as the number of remittances it did (which totalled to this value) is only 20. A word cloud weighted by the amount of money remitted is in the works. Stay tuned. 
  5. I have analysed the data for 24 States only.
  6. Click on any image of the Word Cloud to see it in full detail. Examine closely. The images are laden with information.  Subtle distinctions in key attributes of  foreign donors to NGOs in different States can be identified.
  7. None of the Donor Names from the FCRA database have been removed. The word clouds contain Names of All Donors. If you find all Word Clouds to be more or less similar in flavour, do not suspect me. That IS the Conclusion.

Given below is a Table containing different States. Clicking on the name of a State will lead you to a page which will contain two Pictures. The top one is the Word Cloud of Full Names which are featured in the Institutional Donors List of FC6 returns. The bottom one is the word cloud of the words found in such Names.
                             Word Clouds of Donors to FCRA-NGOs in each State
                        Numbers in brackets are the total number of remittances in 2011-2012
Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
New Delhi
Uttar Pradesh
West Bengal

     If you find any errors, I would appreciate if you could point the same to me. Thanks.



  1. Thank you very much for all the painstaking work in producing this post, analysing the data. I just have a few questions if I may.

    1) Caruna Bal Vikas- they are a subsidiary of Compassion, who arrange child adoptions. is there any indication of what they are up to in India?

    2) Is a foreign donation to a sensitive state like Manipur or Nagaland verified by anyone from law enforcement/intelligence before the donation can be made?

    3) It will be interesting to analyse the funds going to fronts of suspicious organisations, but that is a task for a different time.

    I may have more questions once I have done more analysis on the thought provoking data you have put up. Please keep up the fantastic work. We need people like you.

    1. Thank you.
      1) CBV: Honestly I have not explored exactly what they do. I thought that they (i) run orphanages (ii) fund others who run orphanages etc.. But one thing that I know is that they (& their equivalent in Kolkata called Compassion East India) have a humongous footprint all over India. Many chotta FCRA-NGOs get money from CBV & CEI.

      2) Good question. I don't know. imho, as far as FCRA is concerned, every State & every transaction should be considered sensitive.

      3) Not an impossible task.

      Thank you.