No Small Change

ImageNon-profits love ‘documentation’. It’s a love story of demand and supply.

The demand, I suspect, originally started with donors asking for details of how their money was spent. And since non-profits work in tough areas where decades of work make up small yet significant achievements, they needed to come up with an answer. Hence they supplied details of wells dug, number of people employed in the digging of wells, people from the community who benefited from the water, and so on.

The demand by the donor was legitimate. “How has my money made a difference?”

The response from the non-profit was equally legitimate. “This is how our work has changed lives: so many people, so many wells, etc.”

But somewhere along the line, non-profits fell in love with the business – or rather the busy-ness – of documentation. To understand this, let’s consider an example.

Let’s say you have a…

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