Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beyond Good Intentions

Nonprofits are in constant need of communicating the importance and urgency of their organization and this is mostly reflected in how effective the nonprofit is. Donors want to know how their dollars are being used, how the organization is being innovative and what type of results are being brought forth.

When I came across Beyond Good Intentions, I was impressed by the extensive and in-depth attempt to answer what is effective and what is not. Founded by Tori Hogan in Cambridge, MA, Beyond Good Intentions is a nonprofit that attempts to answer "What really works in international aid?" through film.

I contacted Hogan via email in February to get some more details about the organization and its film series but unfortunately have not received a response. Since I feel like this is a really important idea that's being explored, I figured I'd share what details I do have.

Documenting Hogan's efforts to travel to ten different countries over a year of filming, the series is set to launch on April 1 with ten five-minute episodes which will be aired on the Web site each week. During her travels she interviewed 63 organizations in order to look at the innovative and effective approaches to international aid.

What is notable is the range of organizations, countries and issues that she and her team were able to cover. Everything from small non-profits to large multi-national institutions that spanned from North America to South America to Africa to Southeast Asia were examined. The team covered a wide variety of issues as well, including HIV/AIDS, unemployment, education and health among many others. But the main focus was on the approaches to solving these social problems which is perhaps the bigger issue.

As far as I can tell, the only outlet that Hogan plans to display her work is through the Beyond Good Intentions Web site. I feel this may limit the reach that her work could potentially have and was curious to know her reasoning behind this.

Despite that, the series will be a great contribution to the nonprofit world as it struggles to stay afloat during these hard economic times.

Check out the trailer:

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