National Foundation for India was set up in 1992 by a group of eminent Indians under the leadership of Bharat Ratna late C. Subramanian, late Dr Kamla Chowdhry and Dr. M. S. Swaminathan. NFI was conceived as an autonomous, professionally managed fund raising and grant-making organisation. The Ford Foundation provided pioneering support to set up NFI as an independent Indian Foundation to promote civil society action and public deliberation for social change.
NFI’s mission is to help create a just and equitable society, by enabling marginalised communities to improve the quality of their own lives, by improving public understanding of social issues and promoting social justice.
NFI makes grants to support voluntary organizations working in poverty endemic and difficult parts of the country. We work to build capacities of individuals, communities and civil society to improve the quality of their lives and enhance their ability to negotiate from a position of strength.
NFI has seven thematic areas:
Each thematic area is intrinsically linked to NFI’s mission. It has a well-established context and concrete objectives. It also has a practical strategy that builds on past experience, and responds to new opportunities for the future. For more information on the programs operating under our thematic areas, look at “Our Programs”.
Much of NFI’s work is concentrated in the central-eastern and the northeastern states.
Both the processes and outcomes of development are important to NFI’s work. Today, NFI occupies a distinct niche in the development sector in India as an independent and professionally managed grant making foundation. NFI has established an excellent track record of supporting development action at the grassroots for helping disadvantaged people improve their own lives. Its development communication initiatives involve media, academics, voluntary organizations and the government, with the aim of deepening their engagement with the lives and struggles of ordinary people.