Upaya Social Ventures
Impact Rating

Upaya Social Ventures

Top Poverty Nonprofit

Impact: $220 increases the income for a person living in poverty by $800.

Upaya Social Ventures meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of Upaya Social Ventures.

Methodology

Governance: Passes checks

Mission

Our mission is to create dignified jobs for the poorest of the poor by building scalable businesses with investment and consulting support.

Cause

Poverty

Rated Program

Upaya Social Ventures

Location

India

Location

Seattle, WA

Donations processed by the nonprofit.

Cause

Poverty

Rated Program

Upaya Social Ventures

Location

India

Location

Seattle, WA

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Rated Program

Program

Upaya Social Ventures

Activities

Upaya's mission is to create dignified jobs for the poorest of the poor by building scalable businesses with investment and consulting support. Upaya selects high-potential entrepreneurs and provides them with seed funding and hands-on technical support.

Program Type

Livelihood Support

Beneficiaries Served

People living in poverty

Geography

India

Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.

Outcomes

Outcome Metric

Increase in income for a person living in poverty.

To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.

Data Source

Outcome data collected through Upaya. When Upaya invests in a new company, it administers baseline surveys to a sample of incoming jobholders to assess poverty, current income, and assets. Upaya then revisits jobholders 2 or more years later and assesses changes in these indicators.

Time Period of Data

Nov. 1, 2015, to Nov. 30, 2018

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

The average annual growth in daily wage among informal sector workers in India is about 8 INR, based on 2004–2012 International Labour Organization statistics. Upaya assumes jobholders would have experienced that amount of growth without its program.

To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program.

Cost

Data Source

Cost data reported by Upaya Social Ventures and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.

All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.

Impact

Impact Statement

$220 increases the income for a person living in poverty by $800.

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.

Rating

Benchmark for Rating

Impact ratings of livelihood support programs are based on income generated relative to cost. Programs receive 5 stars if they increase income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent and 4 stars if income increases by more than $0.85 for every $1 spent. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.

Determination

The nonprofit increases income for a beneficiary by more than $1.50 for every $1 spent.

Why We Could Be Wrong

We welcome your suggestions for improving our methodology. Our methodology section includes explanations of how we mitigate these issues.

  • The outcome could oversimplify total impact. Using “increased income” as the metric of analysis may not intuitively convey the potential downstream benefits of participating in a livelihood support program, such as reduced financial stress.
  • There could be multiple important outcomes not captured in our analysis.
  • Upaya Social Ventures may be spending additional money in order to serve harder-to-reach and/or particularly valuable populations.
  • In the absence of better data, we assume uniform counterfactual rates for programs, at the risk of masking variation across nonprofits.
  • Our estimates rely on data made public by Upaya Social Ventures on its website, annual reports, financial statements and Form 990s.
  • We only analyze programs that meet our criteria. As a result, this report may not fully reflect the impact of Upaya Social Ventures.
  • We do not assess what explains the nonprofit's cost-effectiveness.

We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:

  • There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.

  • After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.

    We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.

  • The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.

  • The rated program is cost-effective.

  • The rated program is highly cost-effective.

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Nonprofit Comment

Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for Upaya Social Ventures or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.

Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.


Analysis Details

Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.

This rating is based on data reported by Upaya Social Ventures using ImpactMatters' impact reporting platform. Using data from the platform, ImpactMatters analysts calculated impact and assigned a rating.

We welcome corrections. If you are interested in exploring applications of ImpactMatters data, contact us at partnerships@impactmatters.org.

Governance Check

Upaya Social Ventures passes our governance check.

Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)

Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory

Upaya Social Ventures itself has not reported any material diversions of assets

Upaya Social Ventures itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions

Source: Upaya Social Ventures Form 990 and Charity Navigator

How We Calculate Impact

This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Upaya Social Ventures relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.

For Donors

A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.

For Nonprofits

Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.

For Researchers

Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.

Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.