CIVA (the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action) is a registered charity (Charity Commission registration number 1122095) founded by Michael Norton.
Here are some of our year-by-year highlights since we got started (CIVA was formally registered as a not-for-profit company in June 1995):
1994: South-North exchanges. CIVA brought Stan and Mari Thekaekara from India to the UK to explore poverty here. Subsequent exchanges explored the issues of housing, peace-building and young Asian girls growing up in a modern world.
1995: International philanthropy. CIVA undertook a study for the Charities Aid Foundation on the voluntary sector in India which led to the setting up of CAF India, and the spreading of CAF internationally. CIVA also encourages the development of fundraising in the South through publications and training.
1996: Homeless self-help. With an innovation grant from Crisis and in partnership with the National Homeless Alliance, CIVA established StreetLife to promote volunteering and organise speak-outs for homeless people. This led to the establishment of Groundswell, the self-help forum for homeless people.
1997: Village literacy. With a grant from the National Lottery, CIVA developed a programme of "village publishing" to develop and distribute books for rural readers with limited literacy skills alongside a programme of village library development.
1998: Telephone helplines for streetchildren. CIVA developed a replication strategy for ChildLine India, and obtained a lottery grant to expand the scheme from Mumbai (Bombay) across India working in partnership with the Government of India. Today, ChildLine India operates in over 210 cities in India, and Child Helpline International has been set up in Amsterdam to promote children's helplines across the world.
1999: Young grantmakers. CIVA established YouthBank UK to enable young people to make grants to projects led by young people. Today, there are approximately 70 YouthBanks around the UK, and others in Eastern Europe, South Asia and Africa.
2000: Social entrepreneurship. Michael assembled the consortium which became the successful bidder for the £100 million Millennium Legacy and led to the setting up of UnLtd, which makes over 1,000 awards each year to individuals with ideas for changing their community, society or the world.
2001: Youth Volunteering. Michael led the International Year of Volunteers youth programme, which created the Young Achiever Awards, now run by the Young Achievers Trust.
2002: International youth activism. For five years, CIVA ran a "Young People Change the World!" international summer school for young activists, organised entirely by young people.
2003: Street children's banking. In partnership with Butterflies, a Delhi NGO and with funding from Comic Relief, CIVA supported the development of street children's banking in South Asia. The banks are run by the children themselves, and provide a safe place for their money, encourage saving and make loans for micro-enterprises. There are now over 20 children's banks in South Asia.
2004: Everyday acvitivism. CIVA conceived and published 365 ways to change the world, providing practical ideas for actions that people can take to change the world.
2005: A pilot village reading programme was established in Andhra Pradesh to encourage reading and enable highly disadvantaged people to access information with the potential to change their lives.
2006: Enterprise and financial literacy for young people. MyBnk enables young people to operate their own savings and lending bank in a school, foyer or community setting.
2007: Go carbon neutral. CIVA worked on two UK council housing estates to foster behavior change and engage residents in actively addressing climate change. A report of this project is available.
2008: Following a successful learning journey to India for social entrepreneurs, we helped launch UnLtd India to support social entrepreneurs inially in Mumbai, but with the aim of extending across India and then to other countries.
2009: Reclaiming food waste. We launched FoodCycle to encourage young people to volunteer to cook surplus and donated food using donated kitchen to feed people in need, such as the homeless and refugees.
2010: We developed Buzzbnk as a crowdfunding platform specifically for social ventures, to help raise donations, loans and supporters. Buzzbnk was formally launched in January 2011. We also supported the Oxford Jam, the successful fringe event for social entrepreneurs run alongside the Skoll World Forum2011: Innovation Labs, a new sort of community centre on a social housing estate which focuses on engagement and social enterprise to help turn ideas into action. The first projects opened in 2012 in Hackney (Workshop 44 with Hackney Homes) and Victoria (with Peabody).
2012: The International centre for Social Franchising, a global initiative to promote the rapid scaling up of successful projects.