Navigating CSR Funding: A Guide for NGOs

Chrysalis Services

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding has become a significant source of support for NGOs working towards social causes. However, securing CSR funding can be a challenging task, especially for newly started organisations. In this blog post, we will address common questions and provide insights on how NGOs can search for project funding opportunities, enhance their visibility, and approach corporates for CSR partnerships.

  1. Finding the Right Channels:

When searching for a portal or email address to submit your project application, it is important to note that such information is often not readily available on CSR funding agency websites. Unless it’s a grant application or request for proposal (RFP), you may need to invest time in research and building relationships with key stakeholders within CSR funding agencies. Networking and rapport building with decision-makers at the CXO level can help you establish connections and identify the appropriate channels for submission.

  1. Eligibility for CSR Funding:

To be eligible for CSR funding, an NGO typically needs to have a track record of at least three years in project implementation. For newly started NGOs, alternative funding sources like grants from foundations/trusts, donations from high-net-worth individuals (HNIs), or retail donors should be explored during the initial three years. After establishing a track record, NGOs can become eligible for CSR funding.

  1. Enhancing Response Rates and Attracting Corporate Interest:

When reaching out to corporates, it is essential to focus on developing a strategic approach and addressing key elements in your pitch. Here are some tips to improve your response rates and capture corporate interest:

  • Research the organization’s needs, priorities, and initiatives to align your proposal with their vision.
  • Identify key decision-makers who can influence funding decisions.
  • Personalize your communications by highlighting your organisation’s work, impact, and how it aligns with the corporate’s CSR priorities.
  • Clearly articulate the purpose, impact, and benefits of your proposed program, emphasising how it will benefit the community the corporate aims to support.
  • Showcase your expertise as a domain expert and outline how collaboration will ensure successful implementation and measurable impact.
  1. Administrative Cost Limits in CSR Projects:

The 5% administrative cost limit for CSR spending applies to organisations for their own administrative expenses. However, it does not typically apply to the administrative expenses of projects being funded by CSR. Nevertheless, companies often limit funding for administrative expenses to around 8-10% of the overall project cost.

  1. In-House vs. External Fundraising Support:

Establishing an in-house fundraising team comprising individuals with diverse skill sets is ideal. However, this may not be feasible for mid size or small NGOs. In such cases, strategic collaborations with credible organisations that specialise in fundraising can help meet consistent CSR fundraising requirements.

  1. Corporate CSR Directories:

While there is no comprehensive directory containing all corporates with CSR budgets, you can access company details and funding information on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Alternatively, researchers at Chrysalis Services have painstakingly compiled relevant information over the past three years, creating repositories that can assist NGOs in identifying potential funding partners.

How Chrysalis Services Can Help:

Chrysalis Services specialises in assisting NGOs with CSR fundraising partnerships and communications. They reach out to companies based on research, impactful collaterals, and build connections. Additionally, they can manage digital assets, increasing the visibility of NGOs and showcasing project impacts through effective communication strategies.


Securing CSR funding requires careful research, networking, and a strategic approach. NGOs should focus. To know more you can also access full recording of our webinar on Effective Strategies for CSR Fundraising in Complex Environments held on May 4, 2023. 

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