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.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ways to Connect NRI Volunteers to NGOs

One issue we have see with NGO management almost everywhere in the world is that it is very difficult to manage volunteers. While many are very talented and have great experience it is often not it the non-profit world. Even if it is there are concerns over motivation, keeping the happy, what one can assign to volunteers and be sure that they will get quality work back in time, etc.

For Indian issues this is especially important because they are staffed very leanly and if they are given volunteers that can and will be motivated to work and handle responsibility, then it can be a great boon. Give, for example, has found an excellent way of not only bringing in foreign volunteers and interns but has taken advantage of many other Indian volunteers, especially women with great work experience that are either at home or taking leave from work. (I would recommend contacting Give regarding their experiences if you are interested in how to implement a similar program).

And now that we are back in London and have had a chance to meet with some Non-resident India (“NRI”) community groups, it is clear that there is an opportunity to connect those interested in helping Indian NGOs to Indian NGOs. Many of these groups have people who have great experience working with volunteer groups to do a range of things – put together cultural shows, language schools, community meetings, and efforts to lobby local government. They would be able to help in volunteer coordination and bring those much needed skills to an NGO and would probably be able to do so in relatively short stints of volunteering where they could “teach” people at the NGO what they could do to help get the best out of their volunteers.