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What is Sewa International?

Sewa International is a 501(c) (3) Hindu Faith-based nonprofit humanitarian charity.

What are the guiding principles of Sewa International?

See Guiding Principles in the link:

What is the mission of Sewa International?

Sewa International’s mission is to serve humanity in distress, aid local communities, run developmental projects for the underserved, and assist people in transformational change through the power of innovation by mobilizing partners, donors, and volunteers. We accomplish this mission by focusing our efforts on Disaster recovery, Family and child welfare, and, promoting volunteerism. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the US in 25 states.

Where are all Sewa International Chapters in the US?

43 Chapters in 25 US States. See map (only major Chapters represented).

Does Sewa International serve particular communities only?

Sewa serves humanity irrespective of race, color, nationality, religion, gender, sex, sexual orientation, and Veteran status.

What countries does Sewa International serve in?

Sewa International is guided by the Hindu principle -- that the world is one family -- Vasudaiva Kutumbakam”. Sewa has served, since its inception in 32 disaster recovery projects including, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey, California Wild Fires, and US COVID Relief 2020 [include the data in Sewa Previous Work Data xlsx file]. See Sewa's American Dharma Report on how Sewa with its partner organizations raised and disbursed $50 million just in the US for COVID in 2020. Other than serving in the US and India, Sewa (which means 'Service above Self' in Sanskrit) serves or has served in: Bangladesh, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Iraq (Yazidis), Kenya, Japan, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago.

When was Sewa International started in the USA?

Sewa International was started in India in 1989. Outside of India, the Sewa movement took root in UK in 1991 and ever since has spread over 35 countries. Inspired by the international Sewa movement, Sewa International in the USA was started as an independent entity with an independent Board in 2003. Sewa is registered under the Internal Revenue Code 501(c) (3) as a humanitarian nonprofit charity since 2004.

Where is Sewa Office in the US?

As a modern nonprofit, Sewa has developed a unique model of a geographically distributed, volunteer-based management approach. Using the Internet creatively with fluid groups and social networking tools, Sewa leverages Web resources (online conferences & meetings, Social. media, Zoom/Teams etc.), and manages with only two physical meetings per year during non-COVID times. Accounting Office (donor receipts / reimbursements): Sewa International Inc., PO Box 820867, Houston TX 77282-0867.

What recognition has Sewa International received?

Here is a snapshot of accolades Sewa has received. Sewa International has for the past four years continuously scored the topmost 4-star rating from Charity Navigator - the premier nonprofit rating agency in the US. Sewa International has earned perfect scores in "Financial Stability," and, "Accountability & Transparency" categories – one of the 11 organizations in the international category of over 23,000 organizations. Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator-- the premier non-profit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions." In addition, Sewa has the highest rating in GuideStar (Platinum), BBB (Better Business Bureau), and Great Nonprofits (Top-Rated Nonprofit). The Mayor of Houston, the 4th largest city in the US, Hon. Sylvester Turner has declared April 13 as Sewa International Day.

What is your Administrative overhead?

At 4.8 % (2019), administration overheads at Sewa includes credit card processing, and, office administration expenses, Sewa has one the lowest overheads in the industry. Thus, for every dollar you donate, beneficiaries get 95.2 cents.

What is Sewa’s Revenue?

Please see our Annual Reports. In this link you will find our Audit Reports.

Can I see your Annual Report to know how you raise and disburse resources?

Please see our Annual Report. Contact us by e-mail at if you have further questions.

Who are your Board of Directors / Trustees?

Please see our Annual Report

Are Sewa Board of Directors / Trustees paid?

No. In keeping with the norms and nonprofit organizational culture in the US, they volunteer their time.

Who is Sewa International’s President / VPs / Executive Team?

Please see our Annual Report

How much are President / VPs/Directors / Executive Team paid?

Nothing. Our Board of Directors, and Executive team - President, VPs, Directors, Chapter Coordinators, etc. – are all volunteers and are not paid, thus keeping our overheads low.

Are Sewa employees paid for their work?

Essential services such as Accounting, Web services, procurement, Grants management, Donor Relations, and, project management is handled by our mission-oriented Staff who are paid nominally.

Who are the beneficiaries of Sewa?

Beneficiaries are population under distress in Disaster Recovery projects. Sewa works at the grassroots level directly through our staff and volunteers for Development projects. For international projects, Sewa works with partner organizations to implement Sewa projects through a well-defined process that is audit-proof. In the US, Sewa is the leading partner in case of a partnership.

What percentage of funds raised by Sewa go to US and International projects?

Sewa ‘goal’ for a funding distribution is 30% US to 70% International projects annually. Disasters by definition are unpredictable. Hence, it is not possible to predict beforehand such distribution, since in a particular year disaster relief / rehab forms a significant portion of funds disbursed.

How does Sewa choose the projects it supports?

Sewa has a wide network of partner NGOs in the needy areas, to assist causes that have an immediate need for assistance, such as: victims of natural calamities; uprooted or estranged population; and, underserved population in the area of health or education related issues. Sewa uses its volunteers on the ground, and help from partner NGOs as necessary.

How does Sewa International choose its partners?

Our selection process is based on the values of trust, transparency, joint ownership and accountability. These standards help our Sewa team choose wisely when investing our efforts.

How does Sewa International evaluate the projects it supports?

Sewa has developed standards for each project it supports through normative and summative evaluation. Sewa budgets 3%-7% of the Program funds for evaluation and periodic report expectation from the partner it works with on ground.

What projects is Sewa involved in?

Disaster Recovery is in the DNA of Sewa having served in 32 such projects since its inception, till 2020. Disaster Recovery involves three phases, Rescue (0-72 hours), Relief (3-5 months) and Rehab (3-5 years). Covid-19 pandemic is an exception where the first two phases have merged. See List of Sewa Disaster Recovery Projects below. In addition, Sewa is involved in development projects internationally to benefit children (Sponsor a Child, LEAD, and ASPIRE), women (Toilet for the girl child, microenterprise), environment, and tribal welfare. Please see our Annual Reports. Countries served are: India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Nepal, and Pakistan, Sewa chapters in the US are involved in projects such as Health fairs, Food drives, Adopt-a-highway, Cricket-for Charity, Talent-for-Charity, Habitat for Humanity, Inner City Tuition, SAT prep for the needy, Temple/Synagogue/Church cleaning, and other local projects. In addition, we conduct the LEAD program for American Youth.

What are examples of Sewa Projects?

Please See Brochure and our Annual Reports.

How does Sewa work with refugees in the US?

What is Bhutanese Refugee Project in the US?

Sewa adopted the Bhutanese Refugee Empowerment (BRE) project as its Flagship project in the US in 2008. This project is ongoing. Under the BRE project, all Sewa Chapters focuses their energies on assisting children and families through education programs such as ESOL classes for adults and standardized test preparation for teens (SAT/ACT), College Prep, Financial Aid (FAFSA), Income Tax Returns filing Assistance, etc. Pesticide free vegetable farming, hand-loom carpet microenterprise, sewing and nutrition clubs are some of the other projects. Sewa is continuously evolving to meet the needs of this growing community.

How can I Help?

Donation in cash, or kind (car and van donation, furs, clothes, jewelry, etc.). Click on Donations. You can donate your contribution via Check, wire transfer, PayPal, Credit/Debit Card, Venmo and Zell.

Can I donate in Indian Rupees?

Yes you can donate in Indian Rupees to our projects in India, please send your contribution to: Sewa International 49, Deendayal Upadhyaya Marg, New Delhi -110002 India Tel: +91 11 23232850; +91 11 23232850; +91 11 23232850 or 23684445 Email:

To Donate Time/Talent

Become a Volunteer. Contact your local Chapter Spread the word by referring your friends, family members, co-workers to Sewa International. Contact temples and local community organizations and inform them about the service activities of Sewa International. Start a chapter in your region to create awareness and raise funds for the various service projects of Sewa International in India and other countries. Contact us via email at on how to start a chapter. Become a volunteer with an existing chapter in your region and participate in meetings and fundraising events.

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