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Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers

Joining the likes of  Amnesty, the Earth Charter Initiative and the Social Investment Forum, the Fulbright Academy released its first, integrated GRI report. Why?

The Fulbright Academy for Science and Technology  describes itself as an independent global network of Fulbrighters, collaborative partners and friends. It takes prides in its multi-national, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary network that supports local and international collaboration. And it differentiates itself from the Fulbright Exchange Program, the U.S. Department of State and some 200 other Fulbright alumni organizations around the world.

The Fulbright Academy has delivered and participated in many events around the world. Some of these are described as case studies in its 2009-2010 Review. Given the tumultuous events in the Middle East and North Africa, interesting initiatives to point out may be those related to Internet Data & Digital Libraries in North Africa (events held in Morocco and USA). Other events ranged from a Forum on Human Values and Sustainability (USA) to a Conference on Health & Nursing Education (Qatar).

The Fulbright Academy has demonstrated convening power. It has leveraged its network to engage and collaborate with diverse institutions and participants. These ranged from minority students to Nobel laureates, and business executives to non-profit leaders. They come together to share knowledge and find ways to collaborate and explore how to improve the state of practice.

But what explains why the Fulbright Academy, one of over 200 formal and informal Fulbright alumni networks around the world, chose to include GRI’s triple-bottom-line and stakeholder-centric sustainability reporting process? After all, GRI reporting in the NGO/Non-profit sector is just emerging, as I recently blogged about here. Before offering my answers, allow me to disclose that I am a board member of the Fulbright Academy and that I assisted with the reporting process.

There are several reasons to adopt GRI and its NGO Sector Supplement: a well-known and trusted reporting framework was adopted to shape a more credible and shared understanding of purpose and activities, clarify positioning and provide an opportunity for learning. The latter was leveraged by discussing drafts of the Review with an External Advisory Panel. Their letter to the readers of the Fulbright Academy’s 2009-2010 Review is reproduced on pages 27-28.

Another reason became more obvious to me while drafting this blog: similar to a Fulbright experience at an individual level, the GRI reporting process provides an opportunity for self-discovery and engagement at an institutional level. It also provides an opportunity to lead by example. As Fulbrighters, how could we have resisted these temptations?

Do you fel that the Fulbright Academy gained value by adopting and integrating GRI in its reporting process? Or was this perhaps a waste of limited resources of an NGO? – Your comments and reposting invited.

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11 Responses to “Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers”

  1. March 24th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Ian Ward says:

    Great initiative Mehrdad, as I hope I am correct in presuming you were involved with this report. Many NGO’s like to play a leading role in their areas of expertise, so it would seem fitting that Fulbright Academy would demonstrate its leadership by publishing a GRI report. Hopefully this will reflect well on them and the value will become apparent over time.

  2. March 27th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Is GRI Too Much Transparency for NGOs? | Prizma says:

    […] About « Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers […]

  3. March 29th, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Should Nonprofits Publish a Sustainability Report? says:

    […] is reason to believe that the tide may be turning. Recently, Fulbright Academy joined an elite group of NGOs publishing sustainability reports, with GRI standards being the most […]

  4. March 29th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Emerging Field of Non-Profit & NGO GRI Reporting | Prizma says:

    […] GRI's NGO Sector Supplement and benefitted also from an External Advisory Panel (see also my blog: Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers). […]

  5. April 4th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    tamanna says:

    I think it’s a good use of their time as GRI is a great standard to follow and sooner or later all orgs, whether NGO or for profit would need to study their sustainability impact through proper reporting

  6. April 7th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    GRI Reporting Grows by 30% in USA and 50% in Canada | Prizma says:

    […] US has approached 30%. We are even seeing some NGOs producing GRI reports (see also my blog here: Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers). GRI Reporting in Canada and […]

  7. April 11th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Expecting up to 2,750 GRI reports for 2011? | Prizma says:

    […] Academy for Science & Technology (the latter now also a GRI reporter about which I blogged here). Needless to say that this was not any sort of lottery or betting scheme – and you did not have […]

  8. October 8th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    GRI Research: Training = Success, Celebrate GANGNAM STYLE! | PRIZMA says:

    […] Although engaged in GRI-certified training since 2009, I am somewhat surprised to see that LEAD Canada (and LEAD International?) has yet to adopt GRI-type reporting. However, this may first require LEAD Canada to disclose its annual/financial report, something any NGO worth its salt should be doing rountinely. In my experience, GRI reporting for a small NGOs is not very complicated (see example described in another blog: Fulbright Academy joins NGO GRI Reporting Pioneers). […]

  9. February 11th, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Fulbright Academy Summit on Global Health | PRIZMA says:

    […] GRI reports in the NGO sector at the time. This report was generated with Prizma’s support (see here) and featured a distinguished External Advisory Panel of reviewers who were recruited from Merck, […]

  10. March 7th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Supporting Centerra Gold with CR Reporting | PRIZMA says:

    […] Prizma has supported numerous organizations with their GRI-based sustainability reporting efforts, including Lucara Diamond Corp, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Lundin Mining Corp., Red Back Mining (now part of Kinross) and the Fulbright Academy. […]

  11. December 29th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Sustainability Reporting for Lucara Diamond | PRIZMA says:

    […] GRI-based sustainability reporting efforts. These include Centerra Gold, ScottsMiracle-Gro, and the Fulbright Academy. Prizma had also developed and delivered the first GRI-certified training courses in North […]

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