New Troy group represents what it means to give

By Megan Semeraz

The Oakland Press

PONTIAC (AP) -- A Troy group has gathered in hopes of rekindling the spirit of giving.

Dasvandh Network is a new charity created by a group of Sikhs working to support civil rights and humanitarian causes.

Founded by Troy resident Inderpal Singh, the concept of giving through this charity is simple. Donors can choose from an assortment of charities and choose where their donations go to by visiting one website.

"Dasvandh" means "tenth part" and refers to the practice among Sikhs of contributing 10 percent of their earnings to a common good of the community in the name of their guru.

The projects represent progressive efforts across North America in need of funding, specifically projects for the community or by the community. The donations for the projects can be recurring or one-time only.

Each of these organizations must apply to be a part of the network because the organization wants to maintain their values of trust and transparency.

Singh, 35, and one other person came up with the idea for the network in 2010, and launched the website earlier last year, which is currently in beta mode. They want to launch the full website in 2013.

The duo saw how other religious communities had organized their giving and thought the Sikh community should do something similar.

"I had worked quite a bit in financial services, so one of the things I'm familiar with is the venture capital industry ... there's a lot of folks looking to do interesting things and we're not supporting them in the ways they should be," Singh said.

The Dasvandh Network is made up of about 10 volunteers -- with four of them being very active in the charity. The volunteers all want to give back as a part of their faith and heritage.

"It's completely donated time and money," Singh said.

The network does not charge fees for people to donate, and all of the money goes straight to the cause.

"Donors give directly to the projects on the platform ... they pick where it goes," Singh said. "We don't take any fees at all ... all the money that comes in goes directly to the projects ... our payment processor takes 3.5 percent, but we don't charge any (fees)."

The overall goal of the charity is to spread the word of giving.

"It's all apart of reinforcing this important part of giving," Singh said. "It's not only motivating people to give time and money ... we hope that by people posting the things that they are doing that others will give back."



-- Dasvandh Network:

Published: Wed, Feb 6, 2013


  1. No comments
Sign in to post a comment »