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 26, 2007

The NGOs Have to Do the work

We had a follow up meeting in which the NGO did not do much of the internal work we had asked them to do. The result, as we have seen before, is that they essentially asks us to re-run the workshop. While this is helpful and we definitely make progress, it usually results in us feeding the group ideas more than them thinking what they actually believe and are trying to achieve. It also seems to end up with the group taking some of our statements out of context and viewing them as suggestions as to ways they should expand what they are doing. These types of groups tend to see us as advisors or strategic planners – something we try to warn against – whereas the more dedicated groups don’t see us as such.