Testing Our Work

1. List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate.

  1. Non-profits are reliant on business donations to continue their operations
  2. Corporations are acting out of obligation rather than passion
  3. Corporations operate with a high level of professionalism and formality
  4. Corporate hierarchy is extremely important in the dynamics of respect between coworkers
  5. Non-profits are less formal than corporations
  6. Corporate employees that are not directly engaged with work the non-profits are completely uninvolved with non-profit work
  7. Caste is highly influential in institutional relationships
  8. Citizens look upon corporations more positively as a result of their work with nonprofits
  9. Political discussion is inappropriate in these professional settings so political affiliations are kept private
  10. Culture is much more traditional in rural areas than in Mumbai

2. List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork.

  1. CSR can be used as a marketing tool by corporations and can be proven to improve sales in the areas that their nonprofit funds are going.
  2.  On average, corporations are not highly involved with the management of the nonprofits they give the portion of their profits too.
  3. Corporations do not typically share physical resources with non-profits.
  4. The strongest relationships between corporations and nonprofits are the ones that have been established for a long time.
  5. Corporations that donate more than 2% of their profits to the NGOs are more invested in the success of the NGO and work more alongside their operations more than corporations who donate exactly 2%.
  6. Corporations that give profits to a single charity are more easily able to measure the difference their making and so are more motivated to help the organization get results.
  7. The most successful non-profits are the ones that work with corporations to strengthen their management and operations.
  8. Non-profits have had to strengthen their marketing to compete with each other over who receives the funding.
  9. Castes discretely affect which organizations receive funds
  10. Non-profits have become much more effective since this law was passed in 2013.

3. What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific.

I think what makes me distinct in any group is my ability for critical thinking and quickly coming up with solutions or new perspective to analyze situations with. Lately I have come to identify with the word creative more and more because I feel like I process and connect what I experience in unique ways. I would say that this is my strength, however I think the entire GSIF class is working to strengthen our critical thinking skills, so what I can personally bring with this ability may not be as valuable as the entire group is becoming sharp with their critical thinking. The other trait I bring to the table is intuition and an ability to make people comfortable and bring people together. I tend to think ahead with how people will react to things based on what I understand about their personality, and I think this is a skill that can be useful when navigating and strengthening group dynamics. Understanding my place, not necessarily as a leader, but as a guide in this project will be helpful going forward in assessing how I should react in certain situations and also how I can shed light on my team members when they may have a valuable insight that they have not realized may be relevant or that has been shut out.

I would say in general over the past year I have come to realize that I am much more of an idea person than an action person. Through other projects I have been involved in, I have been thrust into leadership positions because of an initial passion and outburst of ideas in meetings. The trouble that I tend to have is follow through. This is where I rely can become uncomfortable in leadership positions because of the constant need to plan, update, organize, and motivate others. I have learned the importance of open communication and delegation as well as communicating things in groups instead of just individually. Someone else may be better at motivating another person than I am.

I have seen this with our project. Although I am not a group leader, I can assume sort of a leadership position when others do not speak up or when we are brainstorming. I would say that the other team members are much better at planning for presentations and meetings than I am. The topic of our project is incredibly broad, so I have learned that I may think adding an opinion to a discussion seems relevant to we are discussing when really it only distracts from a particular issue. I think that I have had to work to streamline my focus in both research and action throughout this project. Luckily, team members and Professor Deo have helped me to do so.


Ten specific things to strengthen next presentation and responses:

  • I think that we may have been guilty of elaborating on details that were not part of the questions we were asked. I think I personally thought I was helping by adding a new point to what someone said that the judges may have asked about as follow up questions, but this may have harmed more than helped.
  • Perhaps just having one person answer each question
  • Practicing the question round more
  • We received feedback that the end game of enhanced corporate engagement was too broad. I think if we had more clearly defined this that would’ve helped. I tried to sum up different ways these relationships could play out, but it was difficult to fully explain in the time that we had.
  • Use more specific examples of the ways corporate money going to nonprofits has had significant results on improving the standard of living for Indian citizens
  • Have a more specific timeline
  • Explain how we will address IRB
  • List the specific corporations and organizations we plan to work with
  • Clearly outline what we are looking for with our deliverable
  • Explain more specific elements of the problem (since it is very broad) that we plan to address with our research.


Our work will require an IRB approval because we are researching human subjects. Our faculty member has mentioned that she does not believe it will go beyond exempt status.

Because we are starting the interview process before we go to India, I think we will have an advantage with the application. We will already have some concept of effective questioning. We will need to develop a systematic approach to conducting our research, with specific objectives for the kind of information we expect to discover. I am currently involved with a marketing research class, and we are learning a lot about effective ways to gather research on human subjects. There are many techniques that can be implemented to have a more effective interview. I think we may have some trouble with the phone interviews because it can be difficult to convey your interest so that the interviewee continues to elaborate without facial cues. In practicing interviews in that class, I’ve found it easy to make the interviewee comfortable because we have a lot in common, but this step may prove to be more difficult when we have less in common with our subjects that I had with my classmates.

I do not believe we will have to adjust our interview process based on a language barrier because English is widely used in corporate India. However, I do think that it is important that we double check to make sure that there is no confusion with meaning or different ways of expression because Indian English is largely based on British English.

One element of the IRB presentation that stuck out to me that I think we will have to keep in mind is clarifying privacy of the information we discuss. It may adjust how apprehensive interviewees are to elaborating on their experiences with us. We will also have to consult the International Research Appendix before sending our application to make sure we have addressed any extra elements. We will also make sure to include our interview questions and other aspects of our interview process we can outline.

Logic Model

The primary inputs into our project that we are concerned with are planning and research. We must ensure that these are thorough so that we have the most effective conversations with organizations that we can and to make sure that we don’t waste anyone’s time. Additional inputs include funding, scheduling, and planning what we want to provide at our interviews such as snacks or tea.

The measurable output we plan to gather is organized information. We are hoping to reach a variety of subjects from different types of nonprofits and corporations in search of similarities that can be broadly applied. We will compare similarities between our subjects to see if there are similarities between positives and negatives that these organizations are encountering. Then we will create a rubric to rate corporations and nonprofits on as well as a guide for how to enhance relationships between corporations and nonprofits. This will be done in the form of a template or digital pamphlet along with potentially a video or a website.

The outcome that we hope will happen as a result of this work is an increased dialogue about how to make meaningful results out of India’s CSR law and hopefully make a difference in the effectiveness of these nonprofits.