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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Indian Tax Law Issues

One thing that I am noticing that will be a bit tricky is the tax exemption that donors will get for their donations. Under Indian law, the exemption is generally under either Section 80(G) or Section35AC. Donations under 80(G) are entitled to a 50% exemption (plus possible an additional amount that can amount to approximately 10% or so). Donations under 35AC are entitled to a 100% exemption.

From speaking with those working in other countries, we are seeing that this is a problem in developing countries, where full exemptions do not exist. That aside, it is something we will have to consider when seeking funds in India. The good news is that corpus funds often fall into Section 35AC, so it might actually help us to get unrestricted funds.