Welcome to the Charitable Measurement Initiative!

The Charitable Measurement Initiative is a collaboration of people and organizations that are deeply committed to the belief that social change organizations can mobilize significant new and better investment if they are able to implement a measurement reporting framework that credibly communicates their real impact to donors. The Initiative is directed by GiveIndia and calls on the resources of pilot program partners Keystone Accountability, Global Giving, and New Philanthropy Capital, as well as many other organizations committed to social welfare.

The process began when we decided to combine our previous experiences in humanitarian and charitable work with our current work as corporate lawyers. We sought to find a group in India that was looking to incorporate capital markets/securities concepts in reporting and analysis to create more valuable and transparent information.

Thankfully, we were put in touch with GiveIndia. Give discussed the idea of running a pilot program implementing the Keystone framework developed by Keystone Accountability to see if we could help organizations more clearly articulate the outcomes they wanted and better communicate their actual results to donors. This was exactly what we were hoping to do and gladly agreed to donate a year of time to making this work.

While we were in London, Give put us in touch with Keystone Accountability and New Philanthropy Capital. After many meetings throughout the spring and summer, we arrived at our joint creation – the Charitable Measurement Initiative – and a plan as to how we would seek to help NGOs in India become more transparent, responsive, and efficient, as well as help donors become more engaged and involved.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cost of Living

The overall theme of our portfolio seems to slowly be coming together – education and care for those children that fall outside India’s prosperity bubble. While India is experiencing a booming economy, it is not filtering to everyone. It is exaggerating the disparity in income and makes the gap larger and larger. What is worse is that in the cities experiencing the most economic growth – Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Chandigarh, and Kolkata – the growth hurts those that don’t benefit even more. This was striking in Bangalore, where the IT boom has pushed housing, transportation, food, entertainment, and just about every other cost significantly up. While people making Western salaries and inflated Indian salaries can cope with this, the majority – who do not benefit from this boom at all – are left much worse off because now they have to pay much higher costs with the same salary they had years ago – before the boom. As a result, the fall further and further down the leader and are unlikely to come up – all of which exaggerates the disparity even more.

In our group of NGOs, we have several education and care charities for children who are not able to participate in the elite or better Indian private school. So we have groups trying to reform the public school, creating private schools for slum children, schooling and training disabled children, working with street children, providing care for the orphaned and abused. There are some more that fall outside this group but for the pilot this seems to be the unifying theme.