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Milaap Uses Technology to Make Philanthropy More Effective!

By

Alfred Poon

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milaap-1Technology is fast becoming an important aspect of venture philanthropy, and Singapore-based social venture Milaap is integrating it into all aspects of its operations. Sourabh Sharma, CEO and co-founder of Milaap, says that technology allows people to transparently search for Milaap borrowers on its website www.milaap.org, empowering people to give in a transparent and accountable manner.

Milaap also uses technology for content development and product development, and to provide lender support and real-time impact reporting, he says. Milaap’s community partners share daily updates with Milaap on disbursements, fund utilisation and monthly repayments, and these automatically update on the online lender accounts. Secondly, Milaap fellows who are posted on the ground take photographs and audio/ video interviews with the borrowers, which are then uploaded onto the system, providing lenders with information in near real-time.

milaap-2“Because lenders can choose exactly who they lend to, transparency and accountability is inherently built into the software system we have built for our customers,” says Sourabh, adding that Milaap is also able to track repayments, get borrower updates as well as the impact of the funds on the borrowers in near real-time.

“In 2013, we customized the vanilla CRM solution by Salesforce for capturing borrower data, loan applications, reporting and monitoring of funds utilisation and repayments. We rolled out with all our on-the-ground community partners who now use it to upload loan applications, track funding, report repayments, and impact on the ground from the funds.”

Besides bringing about transparency, technology is used to measure impact through SMS-based applications for tracking and communication of impact; to enhance communication through digital mediums to share quarterly reports with funders and donors;.

In the coming years, Milaap intends to continue using technology for community building, by facilitating social interactions and engagement between groups of people through online and mobile platforms.

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Alfred Poon

Learning and Organization Development Consultant

Alfred Poon is Director of Digital Transformation of AVPN. He is a geek by nature, adman by passion, and holds a Masters in Nonprofit Communications from Indiana University. Alfred spends his time building communications infrastructure that brings people together. Prior to joining AVPN, Alfred has consulted for Social Purpose Organisations in over thirty countries, bringing his unconventional mix of nimble technology to enable data driven communications

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