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 26, 2008

Final Say Regarding the Content of the Report

As we get ready to meet with donors one new wrinkle we are finding is ownership over the reports we will present. Of course, we want the NGOs to be happy with what the document says, but we have to be critical. The reports must be seen as “ours” and as done with a critical eye. While we shy away from outright recommendations, it is clear from donor discussions that they look favorably on our recommendations because they trust the quality of our diligence and base that largely on our previous experience and work relationships. Therefore, we have to convince the NGOs that even if we say things they disagree with they have to accept it because it will encourage more open and honest communication, as well as encourage long-term donations. In future meetings, we will have to emphasize this point.