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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When Groups View the CMI as a Fundraising Effort

Usually when we meet with groups there is a mix of operational/strategic personnel and fundraising staff. On occasion, however, we have met with groups that are largely composed of fundraisers. And when half or more of the people we first meet are from the NGO’s fundraising staff it usually turns out that they never fully grasp that the Initiative is not a fundraising effort and rather is something to help them to refine their thinking, refine their efforts towards outcomes and aims, and that the fundraising aspect is a side part, largely to encourage donor engagement. It will be interesting to see if these organizations are engaged enough to make our efforts valuable to them and whether they will put in the significant effort that is necessary.

With those groups that seem dynamic and that we are most excited to work with, the fundraising aspect is at best a side part that they hope will occur but are willing to engage in the process to build capacity.