The preliminary estimates of a foreign-funded study, titled 'Dimensions of the non-profit sector in Pakistan', rejected the notion that the non-profit sector was thriving on funds generated or raised by foreign agencies or donors.
Of the Rs16.4bn annual cash revenues poured into the country's non-profit sector, well over 87 per cent are raised by the indigenous private philanthropy from within the country.
The study has been carried out by the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC) in collaboration with the Aga Khan Foundation (Pakistan) and Centre for Civil Society, Johns Hopkins University, USA.
The study covered a total of 12 districts of the country including Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Sargodha, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkar, Peshawar and Quetta. Adopting the random sample selection approach, over 2,100 organizations were covered in the survey.
The study revealed that out of around 56,000 organizations properly registered throughout the country, either under the voluntary social welfare agencies ordinance, 1961, or societies registration act, 1860, or companies ordinance, 1984, some 53 per cent were either "inactive" or "not traceable".
It has identified a total of 44,625 organizations, inclusive of large number of unregistered entities, performing philanthropy roles and duties across the country.
Against the Rs16.4bn revenues annually raised by these over 44,000 organizations, their collective expenditure, in a year, has been evaluated at Rs12.96bn providing jobs to around 264,000 people whereas over 212,000 persons have been estimated to be working in these organizations on voluntary basis.
Well over 50 per cent of the total collective annual revenue comes in the shape of fees and user charges and 37 per cent through donations from the philanthropists or organizations from within the country.
This results in 87 per cent of the revenue coming indigenously whereas out of the remaining 13 per cent funds, over five per cent comes from the public sector payments.
The share of the foreign aid/donations/grants to the non-profit organizations has been estimated at 6.5 per cent of the total annual revenues collectively received by the non-profit sector.
"The myth of a 'foreign-driven' non-profit sector model is not supported by this study, since the share of direct foreign philanthropy is only six per cent," says the SPSC's working paper.