NGOsource Reflection

As our new Director of Operations, Kevin Ryan is responsible for all systems, processes and platforms related to NGOsource.  Kevin joined our team in June and came to us with a decade of experience working in and leading nonprofits in a variety of sectors. At the end of 2016, we asked Kevin to share his thoughts on NGOsource.

This time of year is always well suited to reflection and analysis. I suppose this is just a human reaction to things ending, a way to process what was and what is to come. But don't worry, this is not going to be a step-by-step accounting of the milestones achieved in 2016 as we gaze together into a snow globe. And it won't be my personal pledge to see the inside of a gym in 2017. Before resolutions and regrets and eggnog and Auld Lang Syne, let us recall and prophesy what we have and what we will achieve together.

Never before has the power of the NGOsource repository been so plainly and applicably powerful. We processed our 2,000th equivalency determination (ED) and are already well on our way to 2,300. This is not an internal or revenue-centric goal but a philanthropic triumph.  

NGOsource was forged by the idea that a unified approach to ED compliance could not only decrease expense and onus and expedite the process but in fact could be the rising tide that lifts all ships. By building a repository we could supercharge existing international giving and engage new foundations in global philanthropy. NGOsource is processing more ED requests than ever before. We are renewing NGOs already in our repository more often than ever before. More certified EDs are being requested than ever. Our membership is at its largest point in our history. All metrics are up. But what does this mean for you?

Congratulations! NGOsource is the house that the sector built. The idea was sparked by the Council on Foundations, guided by luminaries in the field, and built by the world leader in international NGO information, TechSoup. Each ED that has been requested by our members has added to the depth and width of NGOsource's well, the resource then made available to all other members. Foundations are working in unison not just to meet their compliance needs but also to help one another — to make international philanthropy cheaper, easier, and faster than ever before. Never has international grantmaking been so open. You have built a bridge that will continue to enable more actors to engage in changing the world. From this point on, the laws of compounding interest propel NGOsource forward, each day a more potent force for good than the day before.

We're not done yet. NGOsource revolutionized equivalency determinations, but there is still more do. In the coming year, you will see us deliver EDs more quickly, leveraging new technology and adding more value to your membership. Each day, our members will make the world a more equitable, healthier, more sustainable, richer, and more engaged place. That's what gets us out of bed each morning. NGOsource isn't built to change the world; we are built to change the way you change the world, to amplify your good.     

We are so proud of what has been achieved, and we are so proud to be your partner in global change. We are inspired by the good you reap, and thus we are stoked up to do what we do better and to do more. I think I can safely say, you ain't seen nothin’ yet.

The energy behind that idea, the earnest belief that there is so much work to be done, is what makes my socks roll up and down. I joined NGOsource because I was inspired by the idea that together we can move mountains, and the success we achieve will be all the sweeter because we did it together. It can seem as though the idea of a global community has never been more important than today, nor have our problems seemed greater and what divides us vaster. I believe that our sector proves that none of that is true. I believe that philanthropy indefatigably and indefinitely eschews any feeling of the road being too long or too hard. I wanted to make a difference; I wanted to make the infrastructure over which hope and charitable investment flow more fluid and more dynamic. That made the choice easy. NGOsource has redefined equivalency determination and helped make the seemingly difficult process of overseas grantmaking more accessible and more open. There's beautiful simplicity in the idea of an ED repository. Helping make it tick, grow, and evolve is deeply thrilling. I truly believe that I have a ringside seat to the betterment of the world. There are worse ways to earn a living.