How a Charity is Using Baldrige to Serve the Blind

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

Since 1989, the Blind Foundation for India (BFI), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, hasBFI Van - Eye Camp (2) served over 15 million blind people in India, raising over $4 million, performing 125,000 free cataract operations, donating 10,000 Braille kits to blind children for their education, and funding 115 vans to transport doctors and patients. Additionally, the foundation has worked on prevention, conducting 750,000 eye exams for school-age children and providing necessary interventions such as eye drops, glasses, and Vitamin A.

And according to Dr. Manu Vora, chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc., the charity has done all of this by using the Baldrige Excellence Framework as a way to manage its work and ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness.

“The Baldrige framework has added great value throughout the BFI journey,” said Vora. “By using various concepts/tools from the Baldrige Criteria, we were able to create a lean organization with six directors. Corporate governance and ethics have been used to manage BFI. We keep focused communication with our donors, for example, with an annual appeal showing a progress report. We recognize our donors and volunteers. Use of these tools helped us in becoming a donor-centric, nonprofit focusing on the actual needs of 15 million blind people in India.”

Vora, who is also a blogger for the ASQ Influential Voices program, said he has been familiar with the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria from his work since 1990 in quality management at AT&T Bell Laboratories. “Since 1993, I have integrated these Criteria in my Total Quality Management course in MBA programs at various business schools globally,” he said. “I am convinced that the Baldrige framework provides important guidance to effectively manage an organization.”

The Baldrige framework is used to ensure that the nonprofit considers all elements of its operations–by aligning its quality tools with the Baldrige Criteria. For example,

  • Leadership category focus: Vision, Mission, Values, Ethics, Governance, Social Responsibility, Lean, Board of Directors, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA)
  • Strategy category focus: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis; Balanced Scorecard; and Hoshin Planning
  • Customers category focus: Voice of the Customer (VOC), single yearly update to donors (Lean)
  • Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management category focus:  Benchmarking with other nonprofit organizations
  • Workforce category focus: Recognition of donors and volunteers
  • Operations category focus: Brainstorming, Affinity Diagram, Pareto Principle, Ishikawa Diagram, Lean, Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), Process Mapping, SIPOC, Problem Solving, Medical Partner Development in India
  • Results category focus: Feedback Reports to Donors, Gantt Chart, Critical Path Method (CPM), Risk Matrix

“The Baldrige framework provides an excellent platform to manage any organization,” said Vora. “The assessment helps in focusing on value addition to stakeholders (donors, volunteers, the community, etc.), with a continuous-improvement philosophy. For nonprofits with limited resources, the Baldrige framework is a great way to optimize resources and provide value to society.”

BFI Prevention -1 (2)BFI’s mission is to prevent and cure blindness, and educate and permanently rehabilitate  blind people in India. India is home to one-third of the world’s blind population. This video will help you learn more about BFI.

How might your volunteer work be made more efficient and focused on value through use of the Baldrige framework?


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7 Responses to How a Charity is Using Baldrige to Serve the Blind

  1. Dinesh Kakkad says:

    As a Baldrige examiner and a fellow Indian and Gujarati, I feel proud that Dr. Manu Vora and his team at BFI has used the Baldrige Guidelines to make the NGO much more systematic and effective to serve the humanity. May his tribe increase !

  2. Akhlesh Lakhtakia says:

    Thank you, Dr. Vora. Blessed are those who help the unfortunate, the weak, those in need of succor, and those in need of opportunity.

    • Dr. Manu Vora says:

      Thanks Dr. Akhlesh for your kind words. I feel blessed to serve people in need. Really, it is a honor to serve.

  3. S.v.viswanathan says:

    Any philantrophy of this kind adds to human value.
    Every Indian is proud of any such work to the service of mankind and humanity.
    Dr Manu Vora you make India great and fellow Indians feel proud of you.

    • Dr. Manu Vora says:

      Thanks Mr. Viswanathan for your encouraging kind words. In India need is there and many such low-cost solutions can be applied using Baldrige framework to tackle social issues.

  4. Manish Jain says:

    Helping other human is what humanity actually means. Dr. Vora you are setting a perfect example by treating the blinds. Hats off to you sir.

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