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, January 9, 2008

Indian Donor Preferences

I have met with a couple of corporate representatives from banks in India and they suggested that we might have a problem in India. We have noted that the middle class here seems to resent efforts to help the lower middle class or poor that do not also in some way help them. I am sure this is not unique to India. What is troubling though is the banks seems to fear what the public might think of what they do and say they will shy away from certain activities. They are much more like to sponsor activities that support supplemental schooling through sports activities, dramas, food, etc. that would help a group but not be seen as providing resources that their customers would also want. I am not sure if this is a widespread belief but the people I discussed this with did represent major banks and do donate large sums (especially under Indian standards). I also fear that if this is the case, then getting funding domestically for sustainable development might also be tricky.