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About the Desai Foundation

The Desai Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women and children through community programs and initiatives. Our mission is simple yet powerful: to create lasting change and provide opportunities for growth and development.

We believe in action. We believe in making a difference, one step at a time. Through our various projects, we strive to improve access to health, livelihood, and menstrual equity for those who need it most.

We focus on empowering women by providing vocational skills training and support to help them become self-reliant. From vocational skill training to entrepreneurship programs, we aim to foster independence and create a sustainable future.

But we don’t stop there. Our commitment extends to children as well. We believe that every child deserves a chance to succeed. That’s why we provide educational support which includes real time exposure and foundational building blocks, alongside health support and mentoring programs to help them reach their full potential.

We are driven by a sense of purpose and guided by our core values: compassion, integrity, and collaboration. Our dedicated team works tirelessly to create a real, tangible impact in the communities we serve.

Our Story

Our Journey: Inspiring Transformation, Empowering Dreams

In 1997, the Desai Foundation’s story began – ignited by the vision of Samir A. Desai and Nilima Desai. Their mission was simple yet profound: to give back to the communities that had shaped them.

Desai, a tech entrepreneur, focused their efforts in two geographic areas – the place that was home, and the place that is now home. Their efforts focused on the Metro Boston & Harlem, NY areas, as well as the rural communities of Gujarat.

In its first decade, the Desai Foundation built strong partnerships with its partners on the ground and began to build innovative, impactful, and sustainable programming. After they tested their programs, they converted to a public non-profit to scale and expand their work. In 2014, it became a public, programmatic organization implementing 15 programs in Gujarat. Today, the Desai Foundation operates in 8 States across India, implementing over 30 programs, impacting nearly 7 million lives.  

We believe that the best solutions for impact come from within the community itself. It’s why our work focuses on cultivating the dignity of the people we serve by strengthening its leadership and building sustainable programming so that everyone can dream beyond their circumstances.

Our History

A timeline: 1997 – Present

Download our annual reports

Annual Reports

This comprehensive document outlines our work, impact, objectives, approach, and goals in the current year and moving forward. We hope you take a few moments to learn about our programs in India.

Our Team

Leadership Council

Meet our dynamic team, spanning across the United States and India. United by a shared passion to make a genuine impact on communities in both nations, our team is a testament to our commitment and dedication. Get to know the individuals driving our mission and witness our team’s continuous growth.

Board of Directors
Leadership Concealers

career opportunities

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer. 

  • Director of Programs and Events
  • Documentation Officer

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer. 

  • Director of Programs and Events
  • Documentation Officer

Explore the current career opportunities the Desai Foundation has to offer. 

  • Director of Programs and Events
  • Documentation Officer

Our Programs

Explore Our Programs 

At the Desai Foundation, our commitment to fostering meaningful impact drives us to design and implement a diverse range of programs that touch the lives of individuals and communities. Our programming focused on health, livelihood, menstrual equity, and community engagement. We do this by ensuring that our programs cultivate dignity and create an impact for the people we serve. Through collaborative efforts and innovative solutions, we create lasting change that resonates far beyond our projects’ boundaries.

Heroes for Humanity

Heroes for Humanity is a transformative COVID relief and recovery initiative launched in seven states in rural India by the Desai Foundation in partnership with S.P. Hinduja Banque launched in June of 2021. Each of our nearly 500 Heroes have been hired,…

Asani Sanitary Napkin Program

The Asani Sanitary Napkin Program trains women in rural India to manufacture and distribute sanitary products. Due to the inaccessibility of sanitary napkins and health facilities in many rural communities, there remains a lack of information regarding menstrual hygiene-in fact…

Kids Health Camps

Bal Health Mela is a fun-filled health fair for children. We serve 2,000 children at a time through these fairs. Medical services and facilities are inadequate in rural India which increases the rate of health risks amongst children…

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Indian Government Social Initiatives