[GiveIndia.org - Spreading a giving culture] Who will bell the cat?

by BloggerFeed on Feb 21, 2012      Category: Others Tags: npsbm
There have always been concerns about  charity. Donors are rightly concerned about whether their donation is reaching the truly deserving and if it is having the desired and expected impact.  But they also need to ask themselves another question - To what extent is a charitable organisation responsible for ensuring the impact of a donation? 

In a classroom, teachers can only teach to the best of their ability. Not all students benefit to the same extent, some a lot but few not at all. The failure is often for reasons beyond their control. Yet the student is punished for failing and the teacher pulled up for not ensuring cent per cent success though most of the students have done well. Charitable organisations too find themselves in the same position as the teacher. They do their best yet not all their efforts pay off. Here is a true case from our experience...

Recently, one of our donors, we shall call him Mr. R. K., visited a school to see the impact of his donation. He had paid a good amount of his hard earned money to help build rainwater harvesting tank. His anticipated visit turned into an unpleasant surprise and shock. The cement tank was broken with weeds growing inside it. The pipe connecting it to the water drum placed below the school roof was also missing.  He wrote back to us with photos and concluded, “ … I am extremely disappointed and don't wish to waste hard earned money this way.”

Equally incensed, we shared this with the concerned NGO and demanded an explanation. This is what the NGO had to say - "The school had been forced to remain closed for one and a half months during a local political agitation for a separate state. In this time, some miscreants entered the premises and broke the tank. They stole the connecting water pipe along with some other school material."

Now it is clear that each of the involved parties had done what needed to be done. Yet, the desired impact was not achieved. This raises multiple questions:

  • To what extent is a charitable organisation responsible for ensuring the impact of a donation?
  • What benchmarks should be used to determine the success of an act of charity?
  • Should charitable organisation only take up safe projects where success is absolutely guaranteed?

 Meanwhile, the school has since decided to raise funds and rebuild the tank at their own cost. It will now be housed within the hostel premises where it would be safer from acts of vandalism.

Tell us what you think about the 3 questions posed here. We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter

- Sanjyot Kamath

Sanjyot leads our Feedback reporting team and is responsible for ensuring that all our donors recieve their feedback within 4-6 months of making a donation. Along with her team of 1 more person she sends out between 25-30,000 feedback reports every year. Its due to dedicated people like her that we are able to function with skeletal staff at salaries which a corporate would really aspire for. :-)

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Posted By Blogger to GiveIndia.org - Spreading a giving culture at 2/21/2012 11:00:00 AM

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