In the business of doing good: Effective return on donation (ROD) mechanisms in philanthropy and impact investing

Globus, Molly (2018) In the business of doing good: Effective return on donation (ROD) mechanisms in philanthropy and impact investing. DProf thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

The Business of Doing Good is not made up of organizations but people. People bring change, substantial change to society as a whole as well as individuals.
I was born in India and saw severe injustice that affected me profoundly. I vowed to myself that a day would come and I would do my share to contribute and leave behind a world that is a little bit better than I found it.
After a few good years in the business world, I received the opportunity to establish and run two philanthropic foundations that operated in a large variety of areas like science and medical research, K-12 and higher education, leadership, environment and social issues and managed over $10M a year with philanthropists that preferred to enjoy the fruits of their giving by seeing actual bottom line results and change rather than having their names on a plaque.
In the work that follows, I would like to demonstrate to you that it is possible as well as highly recommended and essential to run effective philanthropic organizations with tools from the world of business and just as businesses are profit oriented through Return on Investment (ROI), philanthropies can be impact oriented. Just as the investor in the world of business looks for the ROI, the donor can look for the unconventional bottom line, and measure impact of his giving through Return on Donation (ROD). ROD is a phrase I coined to represent measurable impact just as ROI in businesses.
I also realized that just the tools from the business world would not suffice. Something additional was missing and needed to be an integral part in order to succeed in impactful giving.
Since I entered the philanthropic world, this Business of Doing Good, as I term it, I have gradually evolved with an understanding how successful philanthropy and impact investing should look like. This paper is centered upon my journey, my successes and failures and my insights after eighteen years of constantly evaluating and reflecting on this question.
This search warranted that I develop proper research methodologies within my own organizations that would lead us to achieve objectivity, reliability and validity for our work processes, so we could learn and grow from it. All this while understanding that in philanthropy we act as change agents and as such we affect people’s lives. Therefore, the most important rule to follow is to – Do no harm. The second rule is to – Do your best and in order to be objective as possible the third rule is – Practice Humility.
As a believer in leading by example, and embracing my role as a First Person Action Researcher in the process, I set to explore if business practices that led to ROI could be incorporated in the Business of Doing Good by means of ROD and to understand what ROD mechanisms needed to be put in place for successful impact and sustainability. In the scope of my work, although I have vast experience in a variety of fields, I have chosen to concentrate on two main examples which are in the fields of leadership and education.
During my years of practice, I was on a quest to seek counsel of philosophers like Spinoza and Aristotle, psychologists and social influencers like Maslow and Tom Friedman and many other authors, who have given us management models in the field of business. I have studied a wide range of research methodologies that have developed over the years. All this together with my own inner compass and my personal experience, have led me to build effective mechanisms for ROD in philanthropy and impact investing.
Based on a solid intention over the years to find a mechanism for effective giving, there has been a process of knowing, and I have developed a model which I call the Goodness Factor Model, which has been tested and proven to be the most effective tool for practicing effective philanthropy and impact investing.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > Work and Learning Research Centre
B. > Theses
Item ID: 23519
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 15:52
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2018 09:04
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23519

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