Innovation is a core value at IFF as we continue to believe that technology is not a neutral force and should be used for greater liberty and individual autonomy. We feel as we build out as an organisation, this is an area which needs to be supported with greater engagement on digital rights with India’s vibrant startup ecosystem.
In many of our conversations with many young, politically aware startup founders we notice a need to consistently engage on issues of technology policy and digital rights. We believe there are many who believe their business has the capacity for social good and support constitutional goals. This is the type of innovation we want to spur with opening up to organisational donations.
Permitting donations by organisations will be a tremendous boost to our capacity and will come with financial support that will help us accelerate the pace of our work. A sizeable amount of this will go towards growing the tribe of close to 500 individual donors and members who have built a grassroots giving culture in the first few months of IFF being a staffed organisation.
To clearly set out what is the larger vision for organisational donors we are floating our ideas on this publicly for input and comments which will help us sharpen our pitch and also consider risks to our larger mission. We encourage you to comment and send us your thoughts and suggestions.
What IFF has to offer to Indian tech companies
While more people in India come online and a vast array of services and products are devised sizeable value is played by building and preserving user trust. This takes thought, time and positive action to build and we are confident is the approach being taken by many entrepreneurs in India. There are three useful ways we think by contributing to IFF organisations can grow a culture of digital rights within and support wider efforts as well.
Knowledge sharing: We will keep a quarterly meetup in which IFF programme priorities are discussed which provide an opportunity to highlight concerns on digital rights. Such knowledge sharing helps build greater expertise and focus by IFF on emerging issues in the technology sector. To supplement this regular calls will also be organised to which IFF’s Organisational Donors can nominate their staff to attend.
Improve product, build user trust: This also builds a better channel of communication between IFF and organisations which have tech products (IFF does not endorse or certify any organisation or products) in which IFF staff can provide inputs in person on digital rights concerns which may arise and give an opportunity for organisations to self-correct.
Bragging rights and a tax write off: The organisation’s logo with the level of support will be clearly indicated on IFF’s website. As IFF is a 80G non-profit all donations to it are eligible for a tax write off.
How will IFF retain its mission and character over the long term?
The hallmark for our organisational donors is the three guiding principles of independence, transparency and credibility. For us to be effective over the longer term of time we must excel on all three. Some hallmarks of our plan are indicated below:
Independence: Organisational donorship to IFF will be independent of any positions. It will not give any membership or voting rights. We will not endorse any companies, their products and will continue to be guided by our mission and core values.
Transparency: We will proactively and publicly disclose all IFF’s Organisational Donors and their level of financial support to us. This will be updated regularly.
Credibility: In our decisions we promise to maintain the credibility of IFF and avoid any short terms steps which may impact its long term effectiveness. For instance, we will not prefer IFF’s Organisational donors over their competing entities.
We call on you to send us any comments, thoughts and suggestions you may have over at [email protected]. IFF believes that the best kind of innovation happens when users get online products and services that respect user rights.