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.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Reports Need to Connect Activities to Outcomes

We have been working with the maps we created to reflect the current activities a bit better. Initially, we were drafting theory of change maps that mapped outcomes and paths to get there but shied away from reflecting what the NGOs currently are doing. One fear was that they would then see that and try to reformulate their maps, either immediately or in future versions, based on that information and lose track of the outcomes they wanted to bring about. But without some time to current activities it seems hard for NGOs to see how to bring about the outcomes or refocus on things they will have to do. They also tell us that donors will want to see that information or at least percent of time devoted to current activities.

We plan to check with some donors to see what they think.