The Desai Foundation has multiple goals both in India and the United States of America (US); it seeks to improve social and economic life in the villages of India, and to develop and implement educational programs to promote Indian culture and heritage in the United States. The overall mission of the Foundation is to help the community in which we live, as well as the one we came from, by promoting better health and education. The Foundation envisions a society where everyone leverages their experiences and resources to reach out to others in greater need.
The Desai Foundation, originally Desai Family Foundation, was established in 1997 after a family vacation to Lima, Peru. Though seemingly sitting far above civilization atop Macchu Picchu, our family was not ever far removed from it as we knew how fortunate we were and had a deep desire to give back to society and share our experiences, resources, and talents to improve the quality of life for others. During a discussion of how best to act on the family’s desire to give back to society- the one we live in (US) as well as the one we came from (rural India), the Desai Foundation was born.
Our sphere of influence has included health, education, Indian art & culture, technology and community support. Over the past 15 years, The Desai Foundation has undertaken many private initiatives for public welfare, focusing on improving the quality of life. Our past initiatives have included donations and support to Indian art and culture, education and health for women and children, and general community support in India and the USA.
"We believe in enriching the communities that have enriched our lives and giving back to those in need."
View our 2016 Annual Report here
The Desai Foundation leverages its resources by building partnerships with organizations with specific geographical and subject matter expertise and resources. Our current partners include:
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
The Peabody Essex Museum celebrates artistic and cultural creativity through collections and interpretations of art. The Museum uses exhibitions, programs, publications, media and more to broaden knowledge and awaken the senses, allowing people to enrich their lives by introducing them to a new perspective of the world in which they live.
The Peabody Essex Museum is one of the nation’s prominent museums for Asian art including Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Indian art. In conjunction with the Peabody Essex Museum, the Desai Foundation works to establish programs that celebrate the rich heritage of India’s art, culture, and history. These programs may comprise of any combination of activities: performance, exhibitions, lectures, and/or symposiums.
The MCC Foundation was established to increase fundraising efforts from private Foundations, individuals, corporations and small businesses. The MCC Foundation generates income from Celebrity Forum, the Annual Fund and revenue to develop programs in support of students and faculty, and to further education and training. The Desai Foundation has been involved with the Foundation since its beginning, in support of various goals.
Untdi Vibhag Kelavni Mandal, Untdi, Gujarat, India
The Untdi Vibhag Kelavni Mandal Trust started the middle school in the surrounding area in 1919 with 32 students. The school building that currently exists was built in 1958 with the help of students, teachers and many village people and was renamed “Lok Vidyalaya Untadi.” The school produced many great students, who have launched successful careers. The school has continued to remain the hub of education for not only Untdi, but many of the surrounding villages including, Malvan, Dharasana, Umarsadi, Jespore, Dungri and others. The school building serves a population of roughly 40,000 which includes a mix of communities of Anvails, Brahmins, scheduled tribal communities and Muslims.
For over five decades, the school building and infrastructure deteriorated due to use, negligence, lack of resources and weather conditions. The deterioration of the building was negatively impacting the educational needs of hundreds of students and created an urgent need for the construction of a new modern high school.
The Untdi Vibhag Kelavni Mandal Trust in collaboration with the Desai Foundation, headquartered in the United States, created a vision and Foundation for a formal and informal education center for the community. Shantaben Vidhyabhavan, thus, became a reality and a community center for kindergarten through high school education and a community development center that caters to all the needs of the community to improve life in the region.
IT Gandhinagar, an institution of higher learning in science, technology and related fields, aspires to develop top notch scientists, engineers, leaders and entrepreneurs to meet the needs of the society-now and in the future. Furthermore, IIT Gandhinagar seeks to undertake ground breaking research and develop breakthrough products that will improve everyday lives of our communities.
Mama Hope is a nonprofit that trains impact entrepreneurs from around the world and partners them with visionary leaders in developing countries to lift their communities out of poverty. Together, they fund and build community-identified sustainable projects using local resources. Mama Hope is creating future leaders and revolutionizing the way sustainable projects are funded.
Community Impact was established in 1981and has grown into Columbia University’s largest student service organization. Community Impact serves disadvantaged people in the Morningside Heights, Washington Heights and Harlem neighborhoods providing quality programs and items to those in need, ranging from food and shelter to job training and companionship. There are roughly twenty-five service programs supported by roughly 950 student volunteers that are able to serve more than 8,000 people each year through their hard work and dedication. Community Impact is well connected in the communities its programs serve and partners with more than 100 organizations in the area such as schools, social service offices and others. The Desai Foundation has been collaborating on various activities since 1993.
Shri Yoganand Saraswati Education and Medical Relief Trust (the Trust) is a non-profit organization committed to improving and extending educational and medical services to over 10,000 people living in Talangpur, Gujarat, India and surrounding areas. Since its formation in 1996, it has had a substantial salutary impact on the community. Among its accomplishments, the Trust has organized health camps, provided monetary assistance for those requiring hospitalization and contributed to educational services for the needy in the community. The Trust has also provided funding for surgery, clinical services, medication, tuition, books, school uniforms and more.
Encouraged by its past successes, in 2006, the Trust, in partnership with the Desai Foundation, established Hansa Community Development Center to extend its services to improve social and economic sustainability for the community through education, training, and knowledge enrichment. These services include programs and events that result in the improvement of life development skills, health and hygiene habits, general career development, quality and extent of schooling and several areas of civic services.
GRAM SEVA TRUST (GST) is a non-profit organization in South Gujarat, India dedicated to health care and rural development, formed by young doctors and professionals who have rural roots. They share the strong belief that charities directed towards development of rural society positively stimulate the country's progress and growth.