“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” There has perhaps never been a time when these words, often attributed to George Orwell, resonate more than they do today. Groundswell International does not advocate for revolution in the traditional sense, but we do support radical transparency and accountability to donors, partners, and the people we serve, and if that is a revolutionary act, so be it.
Groundswell’s founders created a bottom-up, network organizational structure that seeks to be truly accountable and transparent to the people we serve, to our partners around the world, and to the thousands of supporters who make our work possible. We continually strive to improve upon our structure and operating model in keeping with these principles and to bring our innovative approaches to scale.
To this point, we have:
- Undertaken annual financial audits. Since 2010, Groundswell has hired third party, certified public accountants to audit our organization’s finances;
- Implemented a robust planning, monitoring and evaluation system, which reliably generates information that we use to make decisions to improve program quality and provide accurate, timely reports to donors;
- Maintained a nonprofit profile on GuideStar. In 2020, we achieved the Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition GuideStar awards; and,
- Adopted the Donor Bill of Rights. Earlier this year, our Board of Directors adopted the Donor Bill of Rights to underscore Groundswell’s commitment to uphold the highest levels of trust and transparency to the people who make our work possible.
Moving forward, we pledge to continue to center our work and operations around the values of accountability and transparency. There has never been a more important time to reaffirm our commitment to these values. We believe they are essential to building the long-term relationships of trust and collaboration required to do effective development work. Moreover, we believe that nonprofits have the responsibility to set an example and to contribute to restoring these values to their rightful place in our society.
As we draw nearer to the close of a difficult year around the globe, we urge everyone to consider the role we all play in working to improve the lives around us through compassion, action, truth, and empathy. We may grow weary of the struggles of today, but we know that others have been in strife daily for generations and will continue to face challenges tomorrow. We, together, have the opportunity and global responsibility to affect real change by advocating for policy, sharing knowledge, securing resources, and sharing stories of our neighbors around the world. That’s exactly the kind of work we have been doing over the last decade, and with help from like-minded change-makers including donors, partner agencies, and board members, will continue to do,