Fiscal Responsibility

“Help-for-Self-Help is not just empty words. It is the only dignified way to help, for the givers as well as for the receivers.”

Dr. Hugo Maier
Founder, Shanthimalai Trust

Area Served

Aruna Partnership supports projects in the Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu, South India. This agricultural district is one of the poorest in the state. Crops frequently fail here due to reduced rainfall caused by the changing climate. It can take years for families to recover economically from a long period of drought. 

With no industry, there are few economic opportunities. Suicide rates are high. We serve destitute women, elderly widows, and economically challenged families in the city of Tiruvannamalai and 40 surrounding villages. Most are living below the poverty line (less than $14/month per capita).

Responsiveness to Our Indian Partners

A 501(c)3 nonprofit with tax-exempt status in the United States, Aruna Partnership is a charitable organization independent of all political or denominational interests. We work closely with our partners in Tiruvannamalai to determine funding priorities. All three of our partners are Indian nonprofits that grew out of Shanthimalai Trust. Although they are independent organizations now, with different areas of focus, they are mutually supportive and share one vision.

From the beginning, we have been guided by the principle of “help for self-help”. Leaders from the Indian community now run all three of our partner organizations. Having worked with integrity and dedication in the area for more than 30 years, they know who is in need and how to help effectively.

Our Indian Partner Organizations:

  • Shanthimalai Trust – School Sponsorship, Skill Development Program, Environmental Stewardship, Pandemic Relief
  • Shanthimalai Research & Development Trust – School Sponsorship, Hybrid Learning Project, Pandemic Relief
  • Mangalam Welfare Society – Widows Project, Pandemic Relief

We send 100% of your donations directly to India to the people and programs you want to support. 

Organizational transparency is of utmost importance to us, as is the privacy of our donors. We are happy to provide additional documentation to interested donors upon request.

Responsibility to You, Our Donors

You are an essential part of everything we do. Aruna Partnership is committed to sending every penny you donate to India. How?

  • We are all volunteers.
  • We pay all of our own costs.
  • Volunteers donate warehouse and office space.
  • Administrative and fundraising costs are low, typically less than 2% of our budget.
  • Aruna Designs handcraft sales cover most of Aruna Partnership’s overhead.
  • Additional costs for special projects (a new website, for example) are covered by gifts from Aruna Partnership Board members.



Donations to specific programs are distributed twice a year, unless additional disbursements are urgently needed. Aruna Partnership’s Board of Trustees decides how to distribute unrestricted, general donations in response to the greatest needs of the people we serve.

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