Ashoka

Rating: 3.86 stars   7 reviews

Issues: International

Location: 1700 N. Moore St. Ste. 2000 Arlington VA 22209 USA

Mission: Ashoka strives to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world's citizens to think and act as changemakers.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

1 people found this review helpful

It isn't really a money-losing organization, just a very inefficient set of programs and leadership. They were really good--as another reviewer points out--the standard for an industry. Then they changed.
Their CEO is a poor leader--a massive micromanager but without the skills to do so. This was probably acceptable when they were a smaller, $10 million dollar organization. Senior Leader interference with every part of the operation simply stops any real progress or impact.
I worked there for more than 7 years and the bureaucracy the leadership claims to despise, but continues to create is choking all progress. Their current work, moving beyond just funding Fellows, is the wasteful spend--no clear objectives or worse, an objective of simply raising funds to hire staff who take credit for the hard work of Fellows.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

it really should simply return to a $10 million organization just funding Fellows around the world. This smaller organization would be able to survive the micromanagement and poor strategy choices of its leaders.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

This is a money losing organization. Their recent 990 shows the massive amount of those losses. More importantly, since the organization hit a growth explosion 7-8 years ago, they take much more money (3-4X as much as before) but the results are not there. No big increase in Fellows, no change in impact, no gerater visibility for donors---nothing but padding the pockets of the people in charge. They should return to their roots as a 12-15 million organization and cut the wasteful spending.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

remove management and cut unnecessary expenses and programs.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Ashoka did experience significant growth from 2000-2007 which we believe directly correlates to the rise of social entrepreneurship around the world. Ashoka’s growth has been relatively flat since the recession of 2008. Our private sector funding makes us susceptible to economic trends and therefore we have had to make difficult decisions to scale back in order to fulfill our commitments to Fellows and donors. Revenue vs. Expenses in Form 990 is a measurement of inflows vs. outflows in one year. Our deficit in 2012 was preceded by a larger surplus in 2011 which enabled the growth of expenses in the following year. As a community of entrepreneurs our vision is being refined continuously - we are a very different organization than we were 10 years ago – which is visible in the rearticulating of our mission from supporting social entrepreneurs to building an Everyone a Changemaker world. Electing Fellows is the lifeblood of our work but the impact we seek is much broader and we will continue to take risks to pursue that larger vision.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I proudly support the efforts of Ashoka--They do great work celbrating and promoting the work of truly visionary social entrepreneurs. Without them, social entreprenership--and all those who consider that their calling--would not exist.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with the Framework Change team in the Global Office in the Spring of 2012. As a graduate student studying public policy, I had studied the challenges that nonprofits face and witnessed an organization structured and staffed to meet those challenges. In particular, I worked on the Invest in Innovation project aimed at modernizing Ashoka's outreach to potential new supporters all over the world. The commitment and entrepreneurial spirit of the team members who worked on this project was a striking example of a nonprofit organization built for success.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Ashoka is a group that really "gets it." Ashoka understands the entrepreneurial spirit and the ability of sharp, well-equipped leaders to shape our society for the better. I've been impressed by each interaction I've had with Ashoka. They target social entrepreneurs who have great ideas and a proven track record of success, and then work to equip those leaders with resources, experiences, and connections to help them take their organizations--and their leadership--to the next level. Nearly every nonprofit has a great mission, but nonprofits that really perform are those led by high-impact leaders. Ashoka builds those kinds of leaders. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I have a long history of working in a wide variety of community and advocacy organizations in the US, both local and national. In, 2006, frustrated by the pace of change and the cynicism that often results from an "us vs. them" mentality, I looked for another way to spend my energies. And found Ashoka. Someone once said "They don't solve problems, they just leave them behind," and after six years of working in the global office, I find that it's true. They think big and they do big things, from the over 3000 global Fellows who have found solutions to some of the most challenging social problems of our time, to the staff around the world who support them, building scale through collaborations that cross national, regional and continental borders. Their focus on enabling everyone to become Changemakers means that they're open to new ideas, alliances and partnerships of the kinds that can leverage the change needed to tip the world. Ashoka is dynamic yet focused, ambitious in vision yet highly impactful. Changemaking at its best!

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

Ashoka is unquestionably one of the most important organizations in the world to have started in the last half-century. As a prime engine of social innovation, Ashoka has made its mark in dozens of countries. Its 3000 Fellows, primarily in developing countries, form a network of changemakers that is collectively one of the chief sources of new energy in the global movement to build civil society.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

conversations with Fellows in India, Brazil, and many other countries -- and in discussions with others who have witnessed first-hand the results of their work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

establish a succession plan for Bill Drayton

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