March 1, 2021

You do the math

It turns out working in social impact or at nonprofits is almost as ridiculous as the math problems we used to solve in school.

2 min read


Narendran funds 5 nonprofit organisations and his wife Neelima funds 7. How many nonprofits does their daughter Ananya have the opportunity to sit on the board of?


Shekhar starts his career at a multinational company, earning INR 12 lakh per annum. Shivani starts her career at a nonprofit and gets paid INR X per annum. Every year, they both get a 10 percent increment in salary. After 12 years, Shivani will earn the same amount that Shekhar started out with. Solve for X, to find Shivani’s starting salary.

Equations on blackboard with frustrated person trying to solve them-nonprofit
Picture courtesy: Pixabay


A social enterprise in Bangalore supports the education of 6,000 children in the city. Yesterday, their funder boldly declared in a Forbes interview that by the end of the year the organisation would be supporting 150,000 children across India. How many cities do they now have to scale their operations to? 

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Every day, Aneesha goes to her local corporators office to request him to fix her community’s water supply. She spends 5 hours waiting, just to get 5 minutes of face time with the corporator, daily. She does this for 2 weeks. How much time (answer in hours and minutes) has Aneesha spent waiting in total?


If the founder of a nonprofit has to spend double the amount of time she spends in the field on paperwork, how many additional hours to her 12-hour work day does she magically need to find? (Take hours spent in the field to be 5.)

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Ayesha Marfatia-Image
Ayesha Marfatia

Ayesha Marfatia is a communications associate at the Good Food Institute India, a nonprofit working to build the alternative protein ecosystem in India. She has previously worked as a consultant for Eco Femme, and as an editorial associate at India Development Review, where in addition to writing and editing, she also worked on the podcast 'On the Contrary' hosted by Arun Maira. Ayesha's work has been featured in The Wire, Scroll, and Quartz India. She holds a BA from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.