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.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vision Statements Are Too Broad

One issue we’ve noticed a couple times is that some NGOs are drafting visions that are too broad. As a result, they list many outcomes that they are not actively pursuing and that they can’t pursue because they don’t have the resources.

This could be dangerous for several reasons. First, NGOs could try to spread themselves thin and move into areas they don’t have the capacity, resources, or abilities to tackle. Second, donors looking at such a map might question why the NGO is not tackling these other issues.

For that reason it is crucial that we have a narrower vision of success and rope in groups by focusing them on what is practical. We are still not perfect on this step but are getting better. We also need to help the groups see that they are not responsible for tackling every necessary outcome on their own, and that they can partner with others or work with others that are focused on those issues.