Insaan connects philanthropists with those in need across the Indian Ocean region. Our mission is to engage in high-impact philanthropy that changes the lives of many, for better, for good.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Albert Einstein
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” Rabindranath Tagore
Our name reflects our commitment to people, who are at the center of all we do. Insaan is a philanthropic fund that works in education and entrepreneurship with a focus on the broader Indian Ocean region. We invest in innovative ventures that serve the poor. And we ensure that they have a verifiable impact. Our mission is to make philanthropy more effective, high impact.
We invest in ventures that serve the poor, and re-invest all revenues to serve more.
We connect those who want a better world with those in need and measure that lives are indeed being changed, for the better, and for good.
Insaan was founded with the support of the Pamela and Pierre Omidyar Fund. We work with families, Zakat givers, corporations, and individual philanthropists.
We work through our networks to find ventures involved in education and entrepreneurship. We get to know the organizations and people within them.
We meet the end-users or beneficiaries in the field. We engage them, listen, ask questions, and try to understand their vision of a better life – in their own words.
We disburse funds through equity or grant and continue to work closely with ventures over the life of the funding. We help ventures grow so they can better serve the poor.
Our work derives from our values, and not the reverse. Insaan is an intellectual and ethical engagement that represents our team’s long-standing dedication to changing the lives of the poor.
We have years of experience in the field, working with the poor and living among them in cities and villages across the developing world.
We apply our diverse personal and academic backgrounds, from economics to philosophy, human development to statistics to approach the problems of poverty with critical thinking and ingenuity.
From our virtual office to our commitment to attracting outstanding and committed professionals to build knowledge, we strive to be a model of cost-effectiveness.
We are open to market solutions and extra-market approaches because reality is complex for the poor. We don’t over-simplify solutions to poverty.
We are a truly eclectic group of people with whom to work: leaders with extensive joint and parallel field experience, remarkable directors by their skills and commitment, and passionate individuals we call “knowledge builders”.
Insaan focuses on the broader Indian Ocean region, where some of the world’s poorest live, and some of the world’s most exciting solutions to global poverty are emerging – as you read this.
The ventures we fund provide innovative, sustainable and high impact solutions to the problems of the poor. We implement a rigorous selection process, ourselves, which involves regular field work.
We build our metrics from the ground up based on the narratives of people who are changing their own lives. We document the stories of people to measure how their lives are being changed and provide insights “from the field” to build up our knowledge.
At Insaan we believe that statistics and metrics alone cannot capture human change, nor can stories. Art in all its forms – photography, cinema, representation, and beyond – is also necessary to our understanding of the human experience in all its raw depth. It is part of how all people, from philanthropists to end-users to the Insaan team, can strengthen our understanding of one another.
100% of your donations go directly to the ventures we support. Insaan's generous board of directors covers all our operational expenses - so you don't have to.
(your own and that of your friends’ and family’s)
(in lieu of wedding gifts, on a promotion or a good bonus year)
(Eid, Diwali, Nawruz, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.)
(and think of those who live on that)