Leveraging Your Charitable Dollars with a International Social Entrepreneurs

Although there is a growing recognition of a global economy and global community, stats from Giving USA 2005 show that giving to international organizations (not related to disasters) decreased 1.9 percent last year. Apparently, most donors want to give closer to home, and to those with whom they can most closely relate. But donors interested in highly-leveraged giving opportunities would do well to cast their eyes toward the growing army of international social entrepreneurs

Case in point: Amitabha Sadangi who recently won the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Because his International Development Enterprises India (IDEI) views poor farmers as customers rather than charity cases, it creates and sells them affordable agricultural technologies. For instance,
IDEI has sold more than 450,000 foot-powered treadle pumps since the 1990s, which have helped owners double their annual income to more than $100 per year. That's a total economic gain of more than $45 million annually. According to the Skoll Foundation's Will Morgan,

"But IDEI has affected more than just those who use the irrigation technologies. It has decentralized the manufacturing, distribution, installation, and maintenance operations, passing them to a chain of local enterprises. In total, this system employs more than 20 manufacturers, 140 product distributors, and more than 1,400 retail points throughout India. All told, these enterprises collectively bring in more than $10 million annually. Over the long term, IDEI aims to develop partnerships to distribute irrigation kits to 5 million families, spinning off successful products as business enterprises and keeping IDEI focused on innovation, alliances, and impact monitoring. "

I've reviewed a lot of grant requests but none that promised that kind of return. GoodFlow welcomes your experiences supporting international social entrepreneurs.

Carla E. Dearing

Posted at 5:53 PM, Sep 11, 2006 in Global Philanthropy | Permalink | Comment