Research & Knowledge

The Centre’s research is focused on critical topics in strategic philanthropy and civil society, with emphasis on applied research. In addition to providing credible and reliable data-driven insights, we also strive to build a culture of evidence-led discourse and decision-making through our projects.


We adopt an evidence-based, data-driven approach to our research and disseminate knowledge and research outputs across relevant forums in order to guide effective philanthropic decision making and policy debate. The long term goal is to bridge the knowledge gap that impedes the Indian philanthropy sector and strengthen the capacity of the philanthropy sector (in terms of quality and quantum of philanthropy) by building credibility, connections and capabilities through the research that we generate and disseminate.


The Centre is taking forward its research initiatives through various research outputs such as research studies, policy briefs, and knowledge partnerships with organizations who also share the mandate of strengthening the Indian philanthropy and social impact sectors.

We adopt an evidence-based, data-driven approach to research and disseminate insights that guide effective philanthropic decision-making and policy debate.

Research Studies

Estimating Philanthropic Capital in India: The study primarily assesses the volume, composition, and trends of ‘giving’ in India. It includes a robust quantitative component that is based on extracting and analysing publicly available data on social sector capital flows from a range of sources. The study is the first rigorous attempt to collate exhaustive data from all sources and estimates the size of the philanthropy sector in India.



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Access the Source Datasets

Advocacy, Rights and Civil Society: This report reviews the changing trends in the funding of the non-profit sector in India, particularly in the recent context of the Government of India’s heightened attention on inflows from international donors. It examines the impact of these trends on local civil society organisations and discusses significant areas of opportunities for Indian philanthropists to play a more enabling role in the non-profit sector.


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State of the Support Ecosystem: This study maps the ecosystem of support for philanthropy and social impact in India. The support services covered by the research range from human resources, financial services, and data-driven insights to sector-wide ‘enabling’ inputs such as convening platforms for knowledge sharing, capacity building, monitoring, evaluation, crowd-funding, etc. The study goes beyond the boundaries of previous reports, as it covers nonprofits and foundations across 29 states with a focus on including respondents from semi-urban and rural districts as well.


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#GivingTuesdayIndia 2018 Report: GivingTuesday launched its data dive project globally in 2018 and #GivingTuesdayIndia was one of the first to join the project. To understand and boost the momentum in Indian giving, the global #GivingTuesday team, GuideStar India, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP) at Ashoka University, and Sattva Research, collaborated to create data-driven insights on the nature and patterns of giving during #GivingTuesdayIndia 2018.



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Download the 4 pager summary

Knowledge Partnerships

India Development Review (IDR): We have a strong partnership with IDR, India’s first online knowledge platform on social impact. Their content includes opinions, insights from real-world practice, as well as analysis on various thematic areas. It is contributed by a roster of sector experts and leaders, curated by the IDR team. The Centre supports IDR through a seed grant, with periodic exchange of ideas, insights, and networks. However, IDR and the Centre exercise complete independence with respect to their editorial and research policies, mandates, and practice.