Education-based NGO Bal Utsav partners with Mastercard for a new pro bono program

A 10-week skill-based volunteering program to help Mastercard employees develop leadership competencies, manage diverse teams and work in new environments



Bangalore: India’s leading education-based NGO Bal Utsav announced its partnership with leading global payments and technology firm Mastercard for a new pro bono program. The 10-week pro bono program is aimed to help Mastercard employees develop critical global leadership competencies that will enhance their ability to manage diverse teams, communicate across cultures, and work in new environments. As part of this collaboration, employees of Mastercard will help Bal Utsav to build a strong communication strategy and create digital visibility for the NGO.


Skill-based volunteering program such as this is emerging as a trend among leading corporates. According to a recent survey conducted across the globe by a digital technology major, 96% of employees felt that volunteering helped in improving their productivity. The same percentage of those who were surveyed also mentioned that volunteering helped lower their stress levels in an increasingly fast-paced work environment. 94%, went to the extent of saying that partaking in their organization’s employee volunteering program made them feel like they were making a difference and were more likely to recommend their organization to friends and family.


Commenting on the partnership, Ramesh Balasundaram, Co-founder & Director, Bal Utsav said “Pro Bono Programs are intended to provide economic and social benefit to the local community while building leadership competencies, creating market insights, and spurring innovative thinking for the participating employees. The pro bono program with Mastercard is an example of how corporates can collaborate with social organizations in bringing systemic change. We hope many corporates will come forward, collaborate and leverage the professional expertise of their employees for socially driven missions.”


Nikil Sahni, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard shared his experience on the pro bono program, “At Mastercard, we encourage our employees to connect their skills and passions, activating them to serve as a force for good. Launch for Social Impact, our signature pro bono program leverages the skills and expertise of our college hires to solve specific social impact challenges provided by our partner non-profit organizations. Over a 10-week program, teams to collaborate across business units and office locations to design and develop recommendations and solutions to better address these social impact challenges. We are delighted to partner with Bal Utsav in India that is on a mission to solve the educational crisis in Government Schools in India. Our young colleagues are working closely with Bal Utsav’s team in creating a communications strategy with a strong focus on digital visibility to build awareness and engagement around their programs and services using online tactics to expand its reach.”


Over the last few years, Bal Utsav has partnered with 100+corporates – from Banking & financial services domains to Software & Hardware product companies and manufacturing to transform public school education. A few of them have also adopted schools in districts like Shivamogga and helped Bal Utsav implement a blended learning model. These schools have been equipped with ‘smart infrastructure’ involving smart devices and Ed-tech content. Due to this convenience of learning, some of the Bal Utsav supported government schools witnessed reduced dropouts, and a significant increase in reverse migration i.e kids in the district moving to Govt schools from other private institutions. Bal Utsav till date has reformed over 200+ government schools through its sustainable interventions and helped over 8 lakh students.


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