There are five projects from Atma’s current and historical work that fall under The Atma Lab. Each project is distinct in the outcomes it was conceptualised to achieve. Each project has been designed and implemented in close cooperation with external stakeholders. Below is a summary of these projects, that highlights the outcomes we achieved, the gap we were looking to fill, and the partners we took each journey with:
1. Future of Impact Collaborative
At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Atma convened the Future of Impact Collaborative in collaboration with other sector intermediaries. The objective of the Collab was to enable information sharing and provide NGOs with tools to respond speedily to the unfolding crisis.
The FOI Collaborative bought together social sector intermediaries from diverse areas of expertise to ensure that NGOs across the country have access to a support network.
The FOI 1.0 conducted 4 quarterly Conferences, 7 monthly Masterclasses and 138 Individual Mentorships impacting 700+ organisations across India.
Based on the positive feedback and success of the FOI 1.0 Collaborative, FO1 2.0 was designed.Future of Impact Collaborative (FOI) 2.0 is designed as an ecosystem-level collaborative supporting grassroots NGOs and has come up with the Common Minimum Programme.
The Common Minimum Programme will focus on building ‘common minimum capacities’, i.e. the most critical organisational capacities needed to thrive in the social sector in the country. The programme will focus on:
Strengthen financial planning & management systems
Strengthen programme design and delivery
Attract and manage talent
Be more effective at fundraising
Establish a digital presence
The programme is bought to you with the support of Atma, Forbes Foundation, A.T.E. Chandra Foundation, SVP, Sahayog and Sattva Consulting.
2. Community Connections India
Across India, NGOs face a challenge to assemble their Boards with the right experts to guide their strategic growth. This led Atma to partner with Credit Suisse for the Community Connections India (CCI). Through CCI, senior employees of Credit Suisse (CS) at the managing director and director levels are connected with NGOs across India for strategic advisory projects.
CCI provides the NGOs and CS senior employees an opportunity to engage with each other and build potentially lasting networks. This year (2021) marks the third consecutive year of CCI’s collaboration with Credit Suisse, reflecting the success of the programme as both an employee engagement initiative and a capacity-building tool.
Across the first two years of this program, we have engaged more than 50 senior employees from Credit Suisse to support 24 NGOs in completing 31 capacity-building projects.
3. Outcomes Readiness
The Outcomes Readiness programme in partnership with the British Asian Trust.
A capacity-building programme to enable and empower Indian non-profits to shift from input-based approaches to outcomes-focused, data-driven approaches and thereby unlock the potential of outcome-based financing for them.
In the development sector, traditional funding and delivery models primarily focus on measuring inputs and activities i.e., what are we doing rather than outcomes i.e., what are we achieving? However, in recent times, there is a growing realization and demand from donors to ‘spend better’ and support programmes focused on outcomes.
The growing evidence from outcomes-based financing models like the Quality Education India Development Impact Bond is also encouraging more donors to explore these models. However, many non-profits lack the necessary resources, skill sets, or networks to drive this approach at the project and organisation level. Thus, it is critical to support non-profits with the right capacity-building tools and resources to help drive better outcomes in the future.
In 2020, the British Asian Trust (BAT) in collaboration with Atma, initiated the Outcomes Readiness programme to provide capacity-building support to non-profits and drive the shift from output-based approaches to outcomes-focused, data-driven approaches. Over a duration of 2 years, BAT and Atma will be working with two non-profits to build organizational capacities and systems that can allow them to deliver, measure and contract for outcomes in future through one-on-one consultations, masterclasses and workshops.
Participants in the first cohort
Sesame Workshop - India and Sols ARC have been selected as the participants of the first cohort of the programme. Both are promising education non-profits with strong experience in implementing interventions that aim to improve learning among children.
4. TaRa AtmaNirbhar Grant
Atma has partnered with Tarachand Ramnath Seva Trust (TRST) to design an innovative grant which not only funds NGO programmes but instead builds capabilities in them which will last longer. The grant is called the “TaRa AtmaNirbhar Grant” and will be rewarded to the most deserving NGOs in Pune.
The grant will be to catalyse the self-sufficiency of 8 high potential NGOs in Pune on the occasion of India’s independence.
8 selected NGOs will be given access to 6 months of dedicated, customised capacity-building support by Atma which will be provided in 2 formats:
Capacity building Support
Workshops: 3 workshops on common capacity needs for the cohort
Customised projects: 3 projects per NGO will be designed & handed over to the NGO.
The support they might need to implement will be provided by us during this period.
Each of the 8 NGOs will be provided support to the extent of Rs. 5 lakhs each:
Rs. 2.5 lakhs/NGO - In the form of capacity-building support from Atma
Rs. 2.5 lakh/NGO - In the form of an unrestricted grant (can be used towards building capacity through adopting technology, hiring staff etc.)
5. Atma Network
Atma has worked with NGOs across India for more than 13 years. With our expertise, we have been able to build a comprehensive library of resources under the Atma Network umbrella to help NGOs irrespective of sector or geography.
The Atma Network is a platform for entrepreneurs starting and scaling social enterprises or NGOs. Entrepreneurs can access Atma Network’s sizeable collection of user-friendly resources which are categorised as:
Tools (templates, checklists, worksheets, surveys, and assessments)
Reading material (content compiled by expert sources)
Best practices & real-life examples
In case you are interested to know more about the Atma Network, contact [email protected].
6. Atma Change Leader Fellowship
The Fellowship programme will place Paid Full Time Fellows with non-profit organisations for one year, during which the Fellows will engage a large number of volunteers for the host NGOs to enhance their volunteering engagement capacity and support the organisation to scale their impact!
Through the fellowship, we expect to engage around 1,000 volunteers during the year for the respective host organisation in ways that support significantly higher social impact efforts by the organisation. This can include a mix of one-time, short-term, and long-term volunteering opportunities or any specific ones that the host organisation may find important, to increase its programmatic impact.
Our Vision: We want to enable NGOs to achieve their goals by leveraging volunteers at scale and in a structured manner.
Our Mission: We aim to train 10 Fellows to engage and manage volunteers for 10 host NGOs to help them scale their programmes by creating 1,00,000 volunteer hours each year.
10 NGOs from Mumbai will be part of this Fellowship programme
To know more click here: https://www.changeleaderfellowship.in/
7. Gati Consortium
The need to support children with disabilities and special learning needs (CWSEND) in classrooms is overlooked and often underfunded. Students with disabilities, or marked deficits, represent a growing population in any classroom due to the failures in early intervention support, especially in low-income communities.
Gati was a consortium of organisations and schools driving inclusion. Together we helped educators serve students effectively, in turn allowing more students to access school. Since the beginning of 2020 Atma has paused this project.
Atma would be happy to share its strategy, monitoring and evaluation tools, inclusive school competition model, and rubric to measure the inclusivity level of a school. To access resources developed by Gati for your organisation please email [email protected].