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Supriye Jain’s (VIT, Vellore) experiences of working with EKJAA

The Social Project Owned by Supriye Jain – Ekjaa Campus Leader and Ekjaa Task managers Ankur Gupta, Ritik Arora, Ankit Gupta, Prateek Sharda, and Garvit Khandelwal from VIT, Vellore.

Doing an Internship with Ekjaa, a social organization based in Mumbai, in which first I had to select my task managers and afterwards working with them towards the project was a very good experience for me. I will remember this experience for my lifetime. It is one of the good things that has happened to me during my life as a student.

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I started my journey in Ekjaa by registering on a portal named Enable India which was lead by my cousin. I got shortlisted there and was provided with an opportunity to serve the group as Ekjaa Campus Leader from Vellore Institute Of Technology, Vellore.

Initially I was quite confused about my job and didn’t really know what to do. I would really like to thank Harsha Mam, the founder of Ekjaa and my project managers Swati and Parth. They were helpful throughout in giving me the guidance and assistance for my project.

After thinking and planning for a week, I made my strategy on how to carry on the project further. For this, I selected around 7 task managers from my college residing in Jaipur itself, as I was in Jaipur for the summer vacations and thought it would be more helpful if the managers were from the same city. It would also be more easy to monitor their work.

So we all started our work from there. In the first few days, I assigned the work of enquiring about the NPOs that I shortlisted initially to my task managers. This work included making phone calls and  thorough internet search about them and fix up an appointment. Next, we visited around 7 NPOs and met with the people there and made a brief report about them. Then we shortlisted 4 NPOs from which we finally chose 2 NPOs for our project.

Things didn’t go that smooth as we have planned and two of my task managers had to leave because of some important work in the college. We were then in a complete dilemma on what to do. Then I took a tough decision and assigned 1 NPO to all the five managers. The decision was taken because the one task manager that was left out was not that much experienced in this area. So finally we decide the NPO on which we were going to work and chose SIDART organization that was doing a project focussed on the slum kids. Then I asked my task managers to make a report for the phase 1. I was surprised by the wonderful work they had done in briefly comparing all the three NPOs.

The next step was the Phase 2 of the project which was a difficult phase for me as a leader. In this phase the pre-disbursal monitoring had to be done. So we first met with the founder of the organization Mrs. Pramila Sanjaya and had a detailed questionnaire with her for about two and a half hours. She assigned to us a volunteer from their organization named Surbhi and I was immensed when I got to know that she was from the same school in which I studied. We also met a foreign volunteer who was the co-owner of the project.

After this work came the main work of visiting the project site and meet the kids and the volunteers there. The kids there gave a very good response to us and recited some poems to us. We also clicked some photographs and took interviews of some of the kids there. We were quite happy after visiting the site and it was good to see that the organization is putting hard efforts for improving the life of those children. Finally we involved ourselves in making the final report of pre disbursal monitoring and mentioned in the report what are the problems that are being faced in the execution of the project and what help can Ekjaa provide.

I took great pleasure in sending the report to Ekjaa and waited for their response to that hard work we had put in. This project was a great learning experience for me in the social area and also was very helpful in developing my leadership skills further. In the end it helped in inspiring me and made me working towards sincerely on the set goals.

The internship might have ended now but I know this is not the end of my role in Ekjaa and I will look forward to have more experiences with it in the future. I expect that in the coming future more people will take responsibility and work towards the cause as I did.

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Experiences of working with Ekjaa – Maharshi Bhowmik, EKJAA Campus Leader IIT Kharagpur

“It was a drop that flowed into an ocean The soul merged with the almighty Limited, it assumed gigantic proportions. Endless, inspiring Your memory was my strength, Every girl child a mirror image for you The love of a mother embraced the world Truly, you liberated me.” -Dr.Sarojini Agrawal(Founder of Manisha Mandir)
While volunteering with EKJAA ,we researched on 3 NGOs namely Manisha Mandir(Lucknow),Abalashrama(Bangalore) and Grahini voluntary organisation(Chattisgarh) and finally decided on the first one since it was nearer thus easy to focus on. Ever since its foundatiion,the ashram (ManishaMandir) has been catering to the needs and requirements of destitute girls abandoned by their parents. These girls are not just provided shelter, clothing and food by Sarojini Madam but also limitless love, warmth and all that a mother can possibly give. She has ensured the girls, over all confidence and self-dependence, To make all such destitute uncared and helpless girl self – reliant by providing them shelter and imparting training in character-making.
Our aim was to do the pre-disbursal monitoring for the project; we took up with NGO on behalf of Ekjaa. We visited their centre located in Gomtinagar,Lucknow. The environment is green and clean. There are lovely trees, a garden and badminton court on the premises, where the children are free to play. There are two dormitories for the inmates. The old dormitory is mostly used only for sleeping purpose of the inmatees, but the new dormitory is more spacious, modern and built with many activity rooms. Now inmates have more bathrooms and separate rooms for different activities, like studying, dancing, learning computer or watching TV. To meet the growing needs of water supply, Manisha mandir has its own boring or
underground done, courtesy Simple Web Inc. The Simple Web Inc. sponsored the expenses around $1000 for the submersible water jet pump so that Manisha Mandir does not face water problems.
Our purpose of visiting was to have communication with end beneficiaries, the NGO team and to look the functioning of work and know about their expectation from us.When we reached Manisha mandir we were glad to find such a serene place for young girls to live.We were invited to the office room of Mrs.Sarojini Agrawal.The room was filled with tokens of appreciation she got for her selfless work including a picture of her receiving Mother India award from the honourable former president of India-Mrs.Pratibha Patel.We took a quick interview of Mrs. Agrawal regarding the vision,working,needs,problems and future plans of the NGO and heres what we found-
More than 500 children have been rehabilitated, through legal adoption, helping them secure jobs. Set up business, getting them married and by ensuring a safe return to their close relatives .
Over the last 25 years 11 of ashram girls have grown up to be responsible citizens, who are now married and living happily with their families.The girls are being educated in reputed schools like
Seth M R Jaipuria , CMS, Riverside Academy, Rani Lakshmi Bai etc. They have secured 1st division in high school & intermediate examination.
.Then we interviewed the girls who seemed to be quite excited towards it.There were 42 of them aging from 8 to 20.We were quite happy to know that the girls were being given quality education at respected schools,proper hygienic conditions to live and strong moral values to cultivate good character.Mrs. Agrawal admired Ekjaa for trying to make a good change for the society.
It was truly a heart warming experience.
Through this blog I would like to make an appeal to the people that there are so many destitute girls in our society who for want of proper protection and guidance go astray and are forced to lead a miserable life. ‘ManishaMandir’ besides providing protection to such helpless girls is also vowed to first educate them in a befitting manner and then get their marriages solemnized with suitable grooms. The success of this gigantic and noble task is not however possible without your active cooperation. A huge sum of money is required to meet expenses on providing food, clothing shelter sports and entertainment – cum – education and eventual marriages of these poor and helpless girls.Hence you are requested to liberally make your contribution for the upliftment, education and marriage/rehabilitation of these destitute helpless poor girls as well.

Ekjaa Campus Leaders at NSIT – Mayank Jain & Anshul Chauhan

“If every child matters, every child has the right to a good start in life. If every child
matters, every child has the right to be included. And that is so important for children
with special needs.”-Cherie Blair

While volunteering with Ekjaa, we partnered with SAMADHAN, a NGO based in Delhi, with the aim of establishing infrastructure of accessible services for persons with intellectual disability, making local community partner and leading to holistic society. Our aim was to do the pre-disbursal monitoring for the project; we took up with NGO on behalf of Ekjaa. We visited their centre located in Dakshinpuri, a resettlement colony based in Delhi. The centre is located in the urban slum, where locallites have perception of the centre as ASYLUM for KIDS. Our purpose of visiting was to have communication with end beneficiaries, the NGO team and to look the functioning of work and know about their expectation from us.

The centre is a two-storeyed building, having a paediatric clinic, a pre-school classroom, early intervention room in which kids (and their mothers) identified with symptoms of disability and developmental delay plays and have rehabilitative measures; and a Self-Help Group, which involves mothers of disabled kids with Samadhan and help in making them self-reliant.


When we reached at the centre, we first visited the Early Intervention Centre, where kids, their mothers and trainer were waiting for us and regular therapy were going. The kids we met there were of age group of 1-5, identified with some disability or developmental delay. The trainer, Ms. Anita Rawat, is working since 23 years with small children there and told us about the different kids
she has met till date and how have they improved gradually. She was really enjoying her work in training mothers and has fun learning with kids. We talked to some mothers and shaken hands with young ones, called their names and spent some time with them. We saw some smiling faces around us. It helped me understand some new things about differently-abled kids.After that we visited their Inclusive Education Pre-School Programme in which small kids (normal as well as differently-abled were present). They have 20 kids in the class, 14 normal and 6 disabled, suffering from speech problem, down-syndrome. The kids have morning assembly, PT, taught about discipline, good habits and discipline, play games, learn alphabets and do activities which make
them identify things around them. The teachers have huge task of convincing the parents of normal children. The active kids in the class help in growth of differently-abled kids as they try to learn and copy them. We talked to 5-6 kids and also played fun activities with them.

Then we met the Self-Help Group working there, in which, mothers and their child (who were part of SAMADHAN in 80’s and 90’s)are involved in making beautiful craft work though paper mashing, which are sold through some stalls and act as a source of income; improving the economic status of women. We talked to aunties there, and saw happiness on their faces when they were telling about
their long association with SAMADHAN.

We also had talk with local coordinator from the community as well as other incharges from NGO’s who told us about the effort put in establishing such an organisation, the problems faced, the impact generated and their expectations. The talk with the NGO’s director was very encouraging. We talked about Ekjaa and Samadhan. She asked us about background, our plans, and then told about the genesis of SAMADHAN. She had lot of expectations from today’s youth and admires the fact that students like us are taking initiatives in such fields. I could see hope and happiness in their eyes.

It gives us immense satisfaction to contribute to the cause Samadhan is engaged in. In this world one can find many people working hard for their well being but unfortunately there are only a few who think about the less privileged ones.  Seeing the plight of disabled children while doing the monitoring at the campus was really a touching experience. It is rightly said that to analyse somebody’s situation, first put yourself in their shoes, analyse the world from their perspective.

There were people who came to samadhan at a very early age and they have spent more than 25 years in the NGO. Atleast we should do our part so that we can bring a slight ray of happiness in their lives. Hope we will be successful and Make A Difference .

Ekjaa Campus Leader Experience – IIT Mumbai, Aditi & Suyash

While doing my B.Tech @ Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, one very good thing that happened to me was that I started working with Ekjaa. I joined Ekjaa as a Campus Leader for IIT Bombay. It is a new NGO which helps smallers NGOs in raising funds and providing social and humanitarian support.

After a brief interview at McDonals in Andheri, I took my responsibility in October ‘2011 and soon things started getting out of my hand. As one of the first ECLs in Ekjaa, I found the task immensely confusing regarding what output I could provide to Ekjaa and what learning I could cultivate for myself. Harsha, the founder of Ekjaa, was very helpful in provding me all kinds of support and motivating me even when I gave awful suggestions. The first few weeks turned out to be totally chaotic amidst my exams and my cluelessness regarding what to do with the Ekjaa chapter.

After about a month and a half of mindless blabber and dreaming, I realised that I need to streamline my approach and build a consolidated program. After a few days of excercise on various programs running on our campus, I concluded that I needed to make an Internship program for Ekjaa. I set things into motion and with a week, I had 30 very curious and enthusiastic students who had volunteered to work on projects with Ekjaa.

It was this moment that I reognised the need of an additional hand. My good friend Suyash had shown enthusiasm to work with Ekjaa earlier and was a brilliant mind! So, I quickly asked him to jump in as another ECL and with this, we began our Ekjaa journey! It was December, and our days got shorter as most of our time went into scheduling tasks, assessing reports, reminders to absentees and attending calls from inquizitive interns. But wasn’t it what we chose ourselves?

As mentors of 10 immensely thoughtfull and wonderful projects, I and Suyash got enlightened to many ponderable things ourselves. When we ended our internship program in January and had a look at the final reports, it surprised us as much as it surprised the Ekjaa team. We took great pleasure in sending the reports to Ekjaa and found ourselves one step ahead too!

The Ekjaa certificate distribution ceremony took place this April, followed by an amazing treat by Harsha at a popular Chinese restaurant. We discussed our future plans and were pretty inspired by what Harsha had to say about what she wanted to do in life! That dinner ended with me and Suyash going back to IIT in an auto with a lot of things to talk about. We found ours

elves much more inspired, and above all, more confident in believing what we felt for, and working towards it.

Our time as ECLs of Ekjaa is over now, but we will never forget the beautiful journey, and a much more beautiful end. Wait if  Today, I have my own social entrepreneurship and volunteering organization running and Suyash is working on another organization which aims at promoting CSRs. Our experiences with Ekjaa have insipired us and Harsha is now amongst those people we look upto.or it, I havn’t told you about the end as yet. 🙂

We will always value the Ekjaa Campus Leader program and hope that the new set of ECLs will take forward what we started.

How CSR can be beneficial to economy? by Anisha Bhatia

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is:

It is an obligation, beyond that required by the law and economics, for a firm to pursue long term goals that are good for society.CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as that of the local community and society at large. It is about how a company manages its business process to produce an overall positive impact on society

Corporate social responsibility is about the integration of social, environmental, and economic considerations into the decision-making structures and processes of business. It is about using innovation to find creative and value-added solutions to societal and environmental challenges. It is about engaging shareholders and other stakeholders and collaborating with them to more effectively manage potential risks and build credibility and trust in society. It is about not only complying with the law in a due diligent way but also about taking account of society’s needs and finding more effective ways to satisfy existing and anticipated demands in order to build more sustainable businesses. Ultimately, it is about delivering improved shareholder and debt holder value, providing enhanced goods and services for customers, building trust and credibility in the society in which the business operates, and becoming more sustainable over the longer term.

While there are different ways to frame the benefits of CSR in business because they are interrelated, they generally include the following:

  • stronger financial performance and profitability through operational efficiency gains
  • improved relations with the investment community and better access to capital
  • enhanced employee relations that yield better results respecting recruitment, motivation, retention, learning and innovation, and productivity
  • stronger relationships with communities and enhanced licence to operate
  • improved reputation and branding

The most recent and comprehensive review of the relationship between financial performance and socially responsible business practices in large companies is by Margolis, Elfenbein, and Walsh (2007). In a meta-analysis of the results from 167 studies, they found that 27% of the analyses show a positive relationship, 58% show a non-significant relationship, and 2% show a negative relationship. They argue that the evidence indicates that CSR, in general, has little effect on profitability, but note that there is stronger evidence to suggest that some causality does operate in the opposite direction: companies that are profitable are more likely to engage in more CSR activities.

Reducing waste and emissions doesn’t just help the environment – it saves money too by cutting utility bills and waste disposal costs, thus bringing immediate cash benefits. However, consider these other benefits as well:

  • Building a reputation as a responsible business sets a company apart.
  • Many consumers prefer to buy from ethical businesses.
  • Some customers don’t just prefer to deal with responsible companies, but insist on it. For example, sales of ‘environmentally friendly’ products continues to grow – and these products often sell at a premium price.
  • Companies often favor suppliers who demonstrate responsible policies as this helps them to minimize the risk of any damage to their own reputations.
  • A good reputation makes it easier to recruit employees.
  • Employees stay longer, reducing the costs and disruption of recruitment and retraining.
  • Employees are more involved and motivated and, as a result, they’re more productive.
  • CSR helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Involvement with the local community creates ideal opportunities to generate positive press coverage.
  • Good relationships with local authorities make doing business easier.
  • Understanding the wider impact of a business can help in thinking up profitable new products and services.
  • CSR can make firms more competitive and reduces the risk of sudden damage to their reputation and sales. Investors are more willing to provide financial resources to such firms as a result.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

CSR As An Investment

CSR can be viewed by businesses as a form of investment that helps to differentiate a company and its goods and services.

What then is the right way to look at CSR as an investment – particularly given that it frequently involves intangible and less quantifiable domains. The bottom line is that a prudent business may tend to regard CSR in the same way it treats most investment decisions. It would be inclined to use the same systematic approach to assess the anticipated benefits and related revenues relative to the costs that it employs for investment proposals. A rigorous and systematic approach to CSR investment is likely to yield the most positive results for both the business and society as it is likely to demonstrate the most efficient allocation of resources from the perspective of both the firm and society.

There are many different areas where a firm can invest to develop CSR attributes (e.g. human resource management, environmental protection, health and safety, community involvement, etc.). Investment decisions on CSR need to take account of various factors and parameters as well as the anticipated cost and benefit stream to be produced by the investment.

CSR is about the organization’s obligations to all stakeholders – and not just shareholders.

There are four dimensions of corporate responsibility:

  • Economic – responsibility to earn profit for owners
  • Legal – responsibility to comply with the law (society’s codification of right and wrong)
  • Ethical – not acting just for profit but doing what is right, just and fair
  • Voluntary and philanthropic – promoting human welfare and goodwill
  • Being a good corporate citizen contributing to the community and the quality of life

The corporate responsibility view:

  • Businesses do not have an unquestioned right to operate in society
  • Those managing business should recognize that they depend on society
  • Business relies on inputs from society and on socially created institutions
  • There is a social contract between business and society involving mutual obligations that society and business recognize that they have to each other

The basic premise is that business organizations have responsibility to various groups in society (the internal and external stakeholders) and not just the owners/ shareholders. The responsibility includes a responsibility for the natural environment and Decisions should be taken in the wider interest and not just the narrow shareholder interest

Interview with Ekjaa Campus Leader – Aditi Jain

Ekjaa Campus Leader        1) What motivates you to take up the ECL task?
I am a fourth year student of IIT Bombay and it is about time for us to decide our career paths. I have always been interested in social activities, specially related to child education. When I came to know about Ekjaa, I sensed that it would be very helpful for me in knowing my actual inclination and also it would be fun working with so many young people, both in Ekjaa and in IIT Bombay.

2) What are the responsibilities as a ECL?
As an ECL, I consider that my foremost responsibility is to create a movement a leaders in my college which can take up challenging tasks with Ekjaa and come out as better citizens. I am the link between students and Ekjaa and my valuable suggestions can help both Ekjaa and these students in creating a better world.

3) How is ECL different then Campus Ambassador?
As per my understanding, a campus ambassador’s sole motive is to publicize the organization’s activities in their colleges. ECL, on the other hand, is a more strengthened position which not only requires encouragement of students in colleges but also help in developing programs for the organization which can lead to a collective growth.

4) What is your strategy ahead?
My strategy is to involve as many people as I can for Ekjaa and develop a spark for social engagement in them. We have already given projects to about 30 students from the institute in winter breaks and we intend to do the same for the coming summers too for a larger number of people.

5) What is your expectation out of this program?
My expectation out of this program is to understand the functioning of an NGO and also understand the thinking process of young leaders in my college. This will give me inspiration for taking up social work for my life.

6) Your take on resource and human mobilization?
1. Resource Mobilization – Working on ground level projects and trying to execute a few small programmes which will serve as an example for further endeavours.
2. Human Mobilization – Publicizing the NGO in the student community using facebook, twitter etc and keeping the website up to date for positions.
7) Message for the upcoming aspirants?
This is your one chance to experience an NGO and getting to know your own organization skills. It is a great experience.

Aditi Jain
Senior Undergraduate,
Aerospace Engineering,
IIT Bombay

Join Us:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/a/ekjaa.org/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dE9seFRZZ1J3VVRmLWNUdmFLTG9ZaHc6MQ

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by Vineeta Wadhwa

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a continuous commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development as well as improving the quality of life of the workforce and of the local community and society at large. Social responsibility becomes an integral part of the wealth creation process – which if managed properly should enhance the competitiveness of business and maximize the value of wealth creation to society. Over the last years an increasing number of companies worldwide started promoting their Corporate Social Responsibility strategies because the customers, the public and the investors expect them to act sustainable as well as responsible. In most cases CSR is a result of a variety of social, environmental and economic pressures. CSR can not only refer to the compliance of human right standards, labor and social security arrangements, but also to the fight against climate change, sustainable management of natural resources and consumer protection.

In recent years CSR has become a fundamental business practice and has gained much attention from the management of large international companies. They understand that a strong CSR program is an essential element in achieving good business practices and effective leadership. Companies have explored that their impact on the economic, social and environmental sector directly affects their relationships with investors, employees and customers. Although the prime goal of a company is to generate profits, companies can at the same time contribute to social and environmental objectives by integrating corporate social responsibility as a strategic investment into their business strategy.

A number of companies with good social and environmental records indicate that CSR activities can result in a better performance and can generate more profits and growth. In India there are an existent but small number of companies which practice CSR. The Tata and Birla group companies which have led the way in making corporate social responsibility an intrinsic part of their business plans. These companies have been deeply involved with social development initiatives in the communities surrounding their facilities. TATA’s CSR activities in Jamshedpur include the provision of full health and education expenses for all employees and management of schools and hospitals.

In spite of having such life size successful examples, CSR in India is not practiced on a large scale in India. Thus in order to be more successful and to earn huge profits companies in India should undertake CSR. In order to be a successful Corporate Social Leader one should do the following things:

  1. Confronting the Issues
  2. Believing in the possibility of change
  3. Taking on the responsibility of change
  4. Get the best people around you
  5. Putting up the company’s plans of CSR to action.

Social Impact and why measure social Impact by Anisha Bhatia

SIA is often carried out as part of, or in addition to, environmental impact assessment, but it has not yet been as widely adopted as EIA in formal planning systems, often playing a minor role in combined environmental and social assessments.

As to standard definition “Social impact assessment includes the processes of analyzing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions. Its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment.”

We take the view that every social enterprise and voluntary organization from the smallest to the largest can be measuring their social impact. Long gone are the days when just saying that we were doing a ‘good thing’ would secure any funding. Today, quite rightly, funders and investors want to know that the investment they make is going to be making a real difference.

There has been a lot of discussion over the last few years about measuring the social impact that social enterprises and other Third Sector organizations are making.

Funders, government, investors and corporate bodies are interested in making sure their investments have the greatest impact possible and are looking for ways measure this.

But this is not the only reason why it is good to measure our social impact. The real benefits from this process are those that are created for the organization itself – not the funders that support it.

If we, in the sector, found a way to tell the whole story of the impact we are having – not just a series of numbers about how many people walked through our doors – we would have an incredibly powerful tool that would:

-enable us to improve our credibility and encourage people to believe what we say

-inspire and motivate our staff and volunteers

-encourage us to continuously improve our services

-communicate to other stakeholders how great we are

-form the basis of effective and powerful publicity materials, funding applications and press releases.

This is the real power of measuring our social impact – enabling us to market our organizations, inspire our staff and volunteers and attract more funding and investment.

At The Tool Factory we work with organizations of all sizes from the smallest community groups, to the largest of national organizations, from pre-start ups to well-established charities that have decades of stories to tell.

We believe that each one of these organizations can be measuring their social impact – however small or new they are.

Different sizes and types of organizations will require different tools. However, if we take the approach that as an organization grows and develops it can build additional complexity into the social impact measurement system that it is using to meet its new needs as a larger, more developed organization.

For example, a small local social enterprise may find the SROI (Social Return on Investment) tool is not appropriate at the current time. But if they introduce a Social Accounting model now, then when they grow and become more sophisticated as an organization they can build on the model they are already using and introduce the additional concepts of the SROI approach.

For small organizations we often suggest that they start by measuring just one indicator – maybe related to one activity they are running; just to get them started. Once the organization is used to this they can then add more indicators and grow their social impact measurement model.

In fact, if we can encourage all new organizations to build social impact measurement into their organizations right from the very start we will, over time, have a sector in which social impact measurement and reporting is the norm.

Let’s just get every organization started on doing some level of social impact measurement – we can build on it from there.

Social Impact & why measure it?

SIA is often carried out as part of, or in addition to, environmental impact assessment (EIA), but it has not yet been as widely adopted as EIA in formal planning systems, often playing a minor role in combined environmental and social assessments.

As to standard definition “Social impact assessment includes the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions. Its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment.”

We take the view that every social enterprise and voluntary organisation from the smallest to the largest can be measuring their social impact. Long gone are the days when just saying that we were doing a ‘good thing’ would secure any funding. Today, quite rightly, funder and investors want to know that the investment they make is going to be making a real difference.

There has been a lot of discussion over the last few years about measuring the social impact that social enterprises and other Third Sector organisations are making. Funders, government, investors and corporate bodies are interested in making sure their investments have the greatest impact possible and are looking for ways to measure this. But this is not the only reason why it is good to measure our social impact. The real benefits from this process are those that are created for the organisation itself – not the funders that support it.

If we, in the sector, found a way to tell the whole story of the impact we are having – not just a series of numbers about how many people walked through our doors – we would have an incredibly powerful tool that would:

-enable us to improve our credibility and encourage people to believe what we say

-inspire and motivate our staff and volunteers

-encourage us to continuously improve our services

-communicate to other stakeholders about the work done

-form the basis of effective and powerful publicity materials, funding applications and press releases.

This is the real power of measuring our social impact – enabling us to market our organisations, inspire our staff and volunteers and attract more funding and investment.

At The Tool Factory we work with organisations of all sizes from the smallest community groups, to the largest of national organisations, from pre-start ups to well-established charities that have decades of stories to tell. We believe that each one of these organisations can be measuring their social impact – however small or new they are.

Different sizes and types of organisation projects will require different tools. However, if we take the approach that as an organisation grows and develops it can build additional complexity into the social impact measurement system that it is using to meet its new needs as a larger, more developed organisation. For example, a small local social enterprise may find the SROI (Social Return on Investment) tool is not appropriate at the current time. But if they introduce a Social Accounting model now, then when they grow and become more sophisticated as an organisation they can build on the model they are already using and introduce the additional concepts of the SROI approach.

For small organisations we often suggest that they start by measuring just one indicator – maybe related to one activity they are running; just to get them started. Once the organisation is used to this they can then add more indicators and grow their social impact measurement model.

In fact, if we can encourage all new organisations to build social impact measurement into their organisations right from the very start we will, over time, have a sector in which social impact measurement and reporting is the norm. Let’s just get every organisation started on doing some level of social impact measurement – we can build on it from there.

–  Anisha Bhatia

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring refers to research based on listening to the discourse of the web, especially social media, and usually refers to the use of automated tools to process that discourse, typically looking at thousands or millions of conversations. Social media monitoring can be passive, for example listening to people to find out what interests them, or it can be active, searching for references to a specific brand, campaign, or action. It is simply an analysis or understanding about brands, products, reputation and end users opinions through social web.

Social media monitoring is not just about listening to its people it has many key elements attached with it like:

It discovers conversations and activities in real time, it not only measures trends but also analyze it, it understand demographics main geo locations of activities, it also evaluates positive and negatives effects and identifies the key leader and opinion maker. Thus social media monitoring has a wide coverage under it as it covers many dimensions.

The business of social media monitoring The key factors that seem to have held social media monitoring back are:

1. Social media monitoring only reports what people are talking about, if they are not talking about you, or if they are not talking about the issue you need to research, then it does not solve the problem.

2. Social media monitoring is much more expensive than was expected, even to monitor a few brands and terms across a few markets is likely to cost several thousand dollars a month.

3. The widely perceived need to use manual coding has held back the credibility of social media monitoring and made it slower and more expensive.

4. Many of the areas where social media monitoring is strong, such as measuring reactions to experiences and advertising are areas where research buyers are very conservative, preferring to stick with their tried and trusted brand and customer satisfaction trackers.

5. The lack of knowledge about what the results of social media monitoring mean become apparent when companies start to use it. Comments from different parts of social media (e.g. Face book, blogs, and Twitter) often produce different findings, using different search terms often produces different results. There is a feeling that the results need to be merged to make them more representatives, but merged in what proportions? And, what are the merged result representative of?

However, social media monitoring is establishing a base within market research, and an even bigger one outside. Most brands recognize that they need to monitor what people are saying about them, even if they can’t use that process to replace other research.

It is likely that the cost of social media monitoring will fall, as software improves, and as competition between the large number of providers increases, this will increase the use of social media monitoring tools for both research and non-research purposes.

Social media monitoring follows three basic steps firstly it listen to its audience by determining relevant real time conservations and in its second step includes monitoring in which those conservations are analyzed and tracked and lastly it engage its customers dialogue comments for further use.

Maybe for few of us words like radian 6, techrigy SM2 etc sounds vague as we don’t have knowledge in these sphere but these are the top social media monitoring instruments.

The power of reputation is a key to success for any brand as there goes a famous saying:

IT TAKES 20 YEARS TO BUILD REPUTATION AND 5 MINUTES TO RUIN IT…..

Social media monitoring as a major role in building a reputation of a brand in its audience mind thus for any organization this factor should be the first priority as without this a brand in market cannot survive. The brands future lies with social media monitoring thus the better it is the successor the brand will get.

 

– By Anisha Bhatia

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