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.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Government Will Not Sponsor Awareness

Just as with donors are reluctant to fund administrative costs, we are hearing complaints about government’s not supporting awareness campaigns. They seem to place the entire cost on the NGO that has taken up the advocacy role. Given that the government has many more resources and is often supportive of these measures, one would hope that it would help a little more with the funding. Because it is not, groups either have to stop or curtail their efforts or else be put in a position where they have to explain to donors why resources for awareness are necessary. Because it is hard to see the immediate results of these activities, donors tend to be reluctant to contribute to awareness. The problem is that without awareness and advocacy, meaningful development is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

For those interested in the need for increasing advocacy and awareness practices, I would recommend the Children’s Rights & You (“CRY”) website. CRY is also an organization that I can’t say enough good things about, so are worth a look.