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New Clinton Metric: People Reached (Not Dollars Raised)

By Tom Watson on September 27, 20072 Comments

At last year’s Clinton Global Initiative, we watched the billions rise each day – each commitment had a price-tag and the score at the end read in dollars. This time around, there’s clearly been a chance and it was apparent during a press conference just concluded by President Clinton. This year, the big measurement is people.

Indeed, the biggest reaction in Clinton’s Q&A came when he announced that the size of the audience following the online video stream had grown to 400,000 people, an increase of 350,000 over last year. And the other score-keeping items were telling as well. Here’s a quote from one of the briefings we get: "The commitments to action of CGI members have allowed 34,000,000 people
to be treated for neglected tropical diseases; 857,300 children under
the age of five to be reached with life-saving services; and 20,070,524
tons of greenhouse gas emissions to be avoided or reduced."

The new score-keeping is part of a slight repositioning of CGI – or rather, a claim to maturity as a major mover on the global scene in its third year. Clinton pointed this out earlier when he told us that "more than 60 percent of the commitments are not made by individuals but by new partners, people and organizations who met here at CGI and decided to work together. I think that’s one of the best indicators so far of the success of this gathering."

The former President rattled off a few impressive statistics I’ll share with you quickly:

  • There have been more than 800 commitments so far
  • 1,288 people from six continents are attending
  • 400 people from 50 countries have spoken at CGI
  • 38 NGOs from the developing world (not the U.S.) are here
  • 1,000 different organizations from 100 countries have taken part in those commitments

These led to the "people" portion of the metrics report:

  • 80 million people were served or assisted by the commitments in the first two years of CGI
  • More than 3.2 million have been reached with clean energy services in the developing world
  • 1.2 million patients in Sudan, Chad, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have received emergency and primary health care
  • 857,300 children under 5 in 25 developing countries have received "life-saving services over the last year"
  • Close to three million micro-entrepreneurs have received access to funding thanks to partnerships with 270 microfinance institutions.

Clinton also announced that next May, CGI will move to Asia and hold its first gathering in Hong Kong: "Asia is the largest and most populous continent and while its wealth has grown faster than most other parts of the world, major socioeconomic disparities remain and must be tackled."

Toward the end of his press conference, Clinton has asked why he spends so much time on CGI and his foundation work.

"First, I thought I should spend the rest of my life giving back to my country and to the world in thanks for the great life I’ve had. Second, I didn’t lose interest in matters of this sort when I stopped being President, and I think I can make a difference. And the third reason is…I just like it."

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  • The fact that CGI is talking not only about money raised, but also about some of the operational measures as well is great … but it is Oh So Primitive.
    What would the capital markets be saying if General Electric GE) simply told you that it had raised so much capital, employed so many people, had a website that attracted so many visitors, and there were visitors to its HQ from 35 different countries.
    What we need is to get some meaningful links between money raised, funds used and activities undertaken (cost accounting, if you will) and the results achieved and their social value, both this year and into the future.
    One day I hope we well get there … but the established organizations are not very interested in the transparency that this implies.
    Peter Burgess
    The Tr-Ac-Net Organization

  • Clinton gets it right about fundraising

    Here’s another breakthrough in the big-name philanthropy front, as reported in onPhilanthropy’s Buzz blog: New Clinton Metric: People Reached (Not Dollars Raised). Seems the Clinton Global Initiative has made a change for the better at its recent annua…

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