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, December 26, 2007

Statistics Given by NGOs

As I am filling out some reports for various NGOs it becomes increasingly clear that NGOs – at least the ones we are working with and have met – do not have accurate records of the numbers of people they have helped or with whom they are working. The numbers they give will vary each time they are asked to provide the information and will vary significantly based on how the questions/requests are framed. This is problematic not only for putting reports together, but also raises questions about how responsive these NGOs are to their beneficiaries when they are not sure how many of them there are. Of course, I am slightly overstating the concern, but it is something NGOs need to track better so that they can make more accurate self-evaluations.