THE DESAI FOUNDATION

We inspire women and children to dream beyond.

BEDFORD, MA   |  http://www.thedesaifoundation.org/

Mission

We envision a society where everyone leverages their experiences and resources to enrich the community around them. We aim to create, implement, and promote programs that support general education and health, and community development. We empower women and children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India & U.S. We cultivate dignity amongst women and children so that they can dream beyond their circumstances.

Notes from the nonprofit

At the Desai Foundation, we are always looking to expand and evolve our projects to maximize our impact. For example, one of our greatest priorities at the moment is to grow our Sanitary Napkin Program which promotes menstrual health while providing resources and vocational opportunity. To learn more and help us reach a larger community of 250,000 in rural Gujarat, India, visit: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sanitary-napkin-program-trains-women.

Ruling year info

1998

Principal Officer

Megha Desai

Main address

209 BURLINGTON RD Ste 217

BEDFORD, MA 01730 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

04-3433749

NTEE code info

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Other Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking Foundations N.E.C. (T99)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (T12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Lack of access to general health, education, and livelihood. We seek to improve social and economic life in the villages of India and to implement educational programs to promote Indian culture and heritage as well as civic engagement in the US. Our projects in rural Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, India focus particularly on the health and needs of women and children because we recognize them as the strongest agents for social change. We empower women and children through community programs to elevate health, education, and livelihood in India & U.S. We cultivate dignity amongst women and children so that they can dream beyond their circumstances.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sewing Vocational Program

The Desai Foundation has a myriad of programs aimed at empowering underserved individuals in the community through livelihood skills. These programs include candle-making and jewelry workshops, sewing classes, beautician training, and more. By taking part in these programs, women are prepared for relatively high-paying jobs in safe environments. Moreover, we offer computer classes to teach valuable digital literacy skills to help advance personal, educational, and professional development.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

In partnership with local CBO’s, the Desai Foundation established the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program, an innovative, transformative, women-led, community-based program that trains women to produce and distribute retail quality, low-cost sanitary napkins, and provides menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education in the rural communities. The women use semi-automated machines to produce sanitary napkins in the production unit to ensure their higher quality. Currently, there are 11 women working in the production unit. Additionally, approximately 250 pad distributors are employed who have flexible working hours. Their responsibilities include door to door distribution of sanitary napkins in remote areas of Gujarat and informing the communities about the importance of menstrual hygiene and management.
The project is operated by women in the communities, creating leadership roles that
encourages them to make independent financial decisions both at home and outside. So far, we have produced approximately 1.2 million pads.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Economically disadvantaged people

Desai Foundation's fun-filled child health fairs (Bal Health Mela) attract 500-2,000 children at a time to provide them with quality health care and guide them toward healthier living. As of yet, 15,000 children have been impacted by these camps. At the health fairs, children are taught positive health habits, parents are informed of necessary vaccinations for their newborns and infants, and children are provided with high-quality medical screening and vaccinations. All these activities are conducted through games and musical puppet shows that make learning fun for children. We also educate the parents on various medical issues and precautionary measures that has improved the health conditions in our target communities.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

In the village of Untdi in Gujarat, India, Shantaben Vidhyabhavan is a vital community
center, providing quality education, vocational opportunity, and health and
developmental services. Since reconstruction, Shantaben Vidyabhavan’s school, “Lok
Vidyalaya” has tripled in size, and four more classrooms have been constructed to meet rising demand. Over 800 students from 15 surrounding villages have attended the school, with class levels ranging from kindergarten to 12th standard. Unlike many schools in rural India, the school's curriculum covers all major subjects: language, math, the arts, history, and science through the use of state of the art science labs. The science school is the only one of its kind in the region, offering a rich curriculum to students hungry for a level of academic rigor and exploration that they would not otherwise have access to. This school has a waiting list to meet the demand.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Community Impact is a student volunteer-based program located in Morningside Heights, NY. The volunteers are students from Columbia University who are involved in providing free educational guidance, computer lessons and healthcare facilities to the community members living in the Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights neighborhoods. Services include ESOL classes, high school equivalency (TASC) preparation, CUNY assessment test preparation, college counselor services, and career counselor services for residents in the target areas.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

The Desai Foundation has organized several gynecology health camps in its target villages for girls and women. These camps provide services such as pap smear examination, checkups for pregnant women and sensitizing the participants about various women health subject matters. The focuses of these camps are on breast cancer awareness and tests, pre-natal and post-natal checkup of women, and on issues related to menstruation. Women attending these camps are also provided with detailed information on various health related matters. Referral cases are further diagnosed by local hospitals situated at a village/ district level.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of community initiatives in which the organization participates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Programs in Education, Livelihood and Health implemented in India

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Desai Foundation has multiple goals both in India and the United States. We seek to improve social and economic life in the villages of India and to implement educational programs to promote Indian culture and heritage as well as civic engagement in the US. Our projects in rural Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan, India focus particularly on the health and needs of women and children because we recognize them as the strongest agents for social change. We are a community development organization using health and livelihood projects to ensure their holistic growth. Our aim is to elevate the health and livelihood status of the communities that do not have access to quality resources and services. By supporting and empowering them, we can ensure sustainable growth in the larger community. The Foundation envisions a society where everyone leverages their experiences and resources to reach out to others in greater need.

Our program model is based on three principles- inclusivity, sustainability, and accountability.
• We work in communities we know well- therefore we are aware that we are tackling real issues that they face- not simply creating band-aids to fix problems.
• We identify appropriate local leaders to spearhead our projects. This ensures community buy-in and a deep understanding of issues. It also promotes self-sustaining empowerment among the whole community.
• We partner with community-based organizations that have a strong rapport with the communities we work with and help push our work on the ground. It also spreads credits for the work-which, in turn, builds morale in the community.
• For every major initiative, a test program is set up to ensure its effectiveness and to understand its impact. We make adjustments to these programs when necessary so we can be confident in expanding them.
• We are always looking to solve long- term problems, not simply create short term solutions. Our goal is to truly inspire those we serve to dream bigger and lead healthier and more economically stable lives. We are in it for the long run.

We are technical experts in the field of menstrual hygiene, children and women’s health and gender issues. We understand the need of the community before launching and implementing the project on the ground because we engage local leadership, listen to the needs of women and create a project depending on their needs rather than forcing our own agenda. Various nonprofits reach out to us to learn about our projects and our methodologies so that they can replicate the model in their respective communities.

Our community development programs in the US have created vital spaces for civic and cultural engagement. On the other side of the world, promoting the health and livelihood of women and children has proven to be the most effective and sustainable approach to bolstering the larger economic and social conditions of communities in rural India. In 25 years we have impacted over 1.4M lives in more than 1658 rural communities in India with our programs. Through our health camps, ad vocational training camps we have impacted over 4500 women, 15,000 children and over 25,000 community members. We have produced approximately 1.2 million sanitary napkins. Women in our communities are now stepping out of their houses, voicing out their opinions, there has been a decrease in dropout rates of schoolgirls, children are healthier, and communities have knowledge of menstruation, breast cancer, dental and vision health, the importance of education and their rights.

Financials

THE DESAI FOUNDATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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THE DESAI FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 1/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Samir Desai

Desai Foundation

Moha Desai

Desai Foundation

Santhana Krishnan

Desai Foundation

Yash Shah

Desai Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/21/2022,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data