GHC: Advancements for Charitable Resources and Technology in the Nonprofit Sector

GHC: Advancements for Charitable Resources and Technology in the Nonprofit Sector
Velma Anne Ruth - Sun Nov 08, 2015 @ 06:56PM
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This white paper is a summary of a larger presentation being made available to nonprofit associations, nonprofit management groups, faith-based charities and providers, nonprofit and philanthropic lawyers, nonprofit classifications and finance leadership, related specialists and IT providers. The presentation is an introduction to Global H Codes (GHC), which is a set of models designed to support nonprofit administration and operations by providing organizational and financial structure which advances transparency, accountability, and development. For long-term, GHC is designed for advancements in nonprofit administrative IT, such as for finance, client management, public relations. In finance, GHC is designed to enhance support for financial management tools, including tracking philanthropic allocations to charitable programs and beneficiaries. To date, GHC has been utilized in a range of areas, including organization of nonprofit start-ups, preparation of fundraising proposals, strategic plans and budgets, assessments and recommendations for charitable partnerships with governments, public relations and community outreach efforts, plus investigative research for risk mitigation and federal court cases.
The introductory presentation is available upon request.

GHC: Advancements for Charitable Resources and Technology in the Nonprofit Sector
When ABS Community Research was founded in 2001, partners in health and human services, education, labor, and community justice requested research and strategic support in key areas of administration: finance, policy, and impacts on operations. These professional leaders suggested that there are sufficient models and qualified personnel in the field to provide effective services in the community. However, the largest hurdle to providing these services is finance and policy terms that prevent those resources from getting through to those who need them.
ABS founded Global H Codes (GHC) methodology to leverage against these issues in nonprofit administration, and support advocacy and strategy to provide resources to the underserved. The original founding principles addressed “case management” and related operations to draw stronger alignments between community partners, by applying generic terms and structures to consistencies between practices in the different fields. For example, all fields working with beneficiaries depend on specialized professional resources under categories of information, assessment, techniques, standards, finance, and technology. Multiple fields can work with shared populations, such as by medical disease. Also, there are hierarchical similarities between fields and individual organizations, beginning with the nature and needs of beneficiaries, and moving up through case managers (doctors, therapists, teachers), to administrative executives, and those who develop and enforce standards.
In collaboration with leadership in information technology (IT), and with the support of sponsors in the IT sector, the coding-level framework, use of tables, and hierarchical quality of GHC showed to be valuable in advancements for IT in service to those nonprofits that do not have access to operational technology. For example, large organizations have access to multiple databases to reach more donors and grow financial resources through fundraising. However, smaller organizations and other nonprofits that are not large hospitals, universities, or foundations have limited if any access to supportive IT. This has been a conundrum for the IT sector, which has long sought to provide operational resources to the wider charitable community, but requires advanced and innovative design and coding mechanisms.
In the United States, the nonprofit sector is $5.3 Trillion in size (ref: Urban Institute). The US charitable healthcare sector is $1.4 Trillion in size, comprised largely of hospitals with access to information technology for medical services, health insurance management and administration. The charitable education sector, comprised largely of universities is $1.1 Trillion in size, with access to IT such as for managing students and administration. Charitable foundations (not including corporate foundations) are $821 Billion in size, and have access to databases for donor relations and administration. The remaining $2 Trillion in charities struggles with systems that are built based on design for the other sectors, or otherwise do not utilize IT as much as other fields.
On an international scale, the nonprofit sector is an estimated $15+ Trillion globally (ref: UN National Accounts, 1995-2005 reports). The majority of international charities have limited to no access to IT, outside of email and internet based services, which is also limited due to lack of infrastructure especially in remote communities.
In fundraising for international programs, there are three key issues for philanthropists and viable partners:
  1. Making sure that the charitable resources reach the intended beneficiaries;
  2. Making sure that the resources are used by the intended recipient and not stolen or otherwise mobilized away from the beneficiary, such as through black market; and
  3. Ensuring quality charitable services at high level of standards and consistent maintenance of the program on location.
There are a few fundamental approaches to addressing these concerns:
  1. Maintain tracking protocol of all phases of service from the strategic plan for charitable resources, to provision;
  2. Establish an infrastructure of security that preserves beneficiaries rights to the charitable support provided, prevents and imposes justice against any theft or black market activities; and
  3. The charitable initiative should have a point-person or a team on location, physically present with, and managing the project(s) with regular reports back to leadership.
IT resources can serve in the tracking and reporting protocols, but it is the personnel, management, and implementation that is crucial to assure that the outcomes reporting is sufficient both for the needs of the intended beneficiary, and the expectations of sponsors.
Any start-up initiative, whether in the US or abroad requires a significant amount of seed capital in order to launch a program, prove success in the pilot phase(s), and cultivate additional support as a result. Larger initiatives require larger capital. However, charitable start-ups with more significant hurdles, such as operating in remote locations or in volatile, war-torn environments may benefit from smaller scale projects with less capital demands, which can then grow in viability and resourcefulness overtime.
To date, GHC has been utilized in a range of initiatives including:
  • Organization of nonprofit start-ups and coordination with stakeholders
  • Preparation of fundraising proposals, strategic plans and budgets
  • Financial and administrative analysis as part of proposals for government partnerships and nonprofit participation in government programs
  • Media, government, and public relations plus community outreach for charitable initiatives seeking greater exposure in an educational capacity and for collaborative partnership advancement
  • Investigative analysis, for both risk mitigation and federal court whistleblower cases
GHC is reserved to support domestic and international development which embraces the following philosophies:
  • Preservation of indigenous rights to land ownership, with regards to balanced revenue share for natural resources, environmental protections, and partnerships in humanitarian projects such as medical and water resources
  • Advancement of local peoples through education and on-the-job training, whereby indigenous peoples are empowered and participate in operations, management, and ownership
  • Strategic planning based on feasibility study that includes review of local access to health, water, food supply / agriculture, sanitation, electricity / alternative energy, and resource allocations to directly impact any of these areas which are deficient and may currently be setting the peoples at an economic and social disadvantage
The following structures were found in projects ABS has been involved with:
Funding to Governments: Foreign governments welcome funding for humanitarian efforts, whether the program is managed by that receiving government, or whether funds are to be distributed to partners, including charities
Issues in Funding to Governments: There have been widespread challenges in tracking government spending and allocations for charitable or humanitarian purposes
Funding to NGOs, with Government Partnerships: Foreign governments also welcome strategic partnerships with NGOs, where funds go directly to the nonprofit for charitable purposes, and the government shares oversight and humanitarian activities
Nonprofit Transparency: International and foreign nonprofits are difficult to track and manage, especially from abroad, as point persons are required to be on location, there should be extensive reporting and oversight
Administrative Challenges: Major risks in charitable activity abroad include uncertainty over how funds are being allocated, tracking results and outcomes, personnel turnover rates, risk of losing goods or supplies to the black market, and growing violence
Risk Mitigation with US NGO Affiliation: Risk is decreased if finances and physical assets are managed out of the United States, where in-kind gifts are exported as charitable contributions, and local economies are handled separately in the foreign country, but with extensive tracking and on-site management
Foreign Independence from UN Aid Groups: Many foreign governments default to allow UN agencies to manage humanitarian programs, and are in great need at this time, but prefer for long-term to have sovereign partnerships and methods to lessen dependency on UN agencies
Economic Growth and Humanitarian Programs: Many foreign governments and nonprofits are open to economic development programs, where funds can be generated through free market practices, and where local peoples participate in those initiatives, to effect that local economic growth includes financing and operating independent humanitarian programs
In summary, a strong series of foreign government and NGOs welcome the following:
  • Funds to go directly to the charity and to the US nonprofit if based in America
  • Goods and personnel to be sent from the US
  • US personnel train and develop nonprofit staff abroad
  • Non-financial, strategic and oversight role of the foreign government in the charitable program
  • Parallel programs for economic growth and sovereign financial independence
GHC was designed to help charitable programs and their community, government, and corporate partnerships to advance in organization, accountability, transparency, but above all, to advance resourcefulness for those in need.
In this time of growing international crises of volatility, refugees, IDPs, and economic uncertainty, ABS Community Research has taken a step back from hands-on efforts in international development and deployments of aid, to regroup on the strategic challenges in the wider nonprofit, philanthropic, legal, and IT community.
It is our ambition that through expanded networking, new resources and partnerships will become available for the charitable programs that ABS has invested much time and effort to support, and that the innovative quality of GHC can be made available to more groups seeking to advance their operational capacities. 

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