GoodWeave International

Celebrated international nonprofit reduces the number of exploited children by three-quarters working in the handmade carpet industry with the help of a FileMaker solution

GoodWeave International, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, uses FileMaker for 3500 inspections annually


  • Using a custom FileMaker solution, nonprofit GoodWeave aims to reduce child labor in handmade carpet manufacturing, where child exploitation is endemic. As a result of his efforts, company Founder Kailash Satyarthi won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.


  • Nonprofit


  • Custom FileMaker solution manages fundraising, media outreach, business contacts and keeps the organization efficient; it also consolidates data collection among 45 personnel in three countries.


  • By providing robust data management, the FileMaker solution has helped reduce child labor in handmade carpet manufacturing by three-fourths, from 1 million to 250,000 children, in Nepal, Afghanistan and India.

2014 Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi began rescuing children from bondage in the 1980s across South Asia, conducting peaceful rescue raids and liberating children who were enduring extreme violence. After one raid, when he went to board a train home, he saw dozens of children in the hands of middlemen, destined for the rug looms.

It was this moment that propelled him to found GoodWeave, a nonprofit that works with the top consumer capitals of the world and the key rug-producing areas – Nepal, Afghanistan and India to stop child labor in rug production.  In the two decades since then, GoodWeave has gone on to reduce the number of “carpet kids” by 75%. One important key is a custom FileMaker solution that helps the nonprofit raise and manage funds, conduct factory inspections, and track GoodWeave-labeled rugs across the entire supply chain.

Executive Director Nina Smith founded the U.S. GoodWeave office in 1999 and now heads the global organization, which incentivizes manufacturers to stop exploiting children. GoodWeave also guides consumers to purchase “child-labor-free” carpets with the nonprofit’s label.

We’re a tiny staff with a huge mission. Our FileMaker solution has been instrumental in our successes in stopping child exploitation.

— Nina Smith, Executive Director, GoodWeave International

Reduced child labor by three-fourths

Despite its small size, GoodWeave conducts a complex, systematic effort to rescue and safeguard children. Thirteen people at headquarters in Washington, D.C., raise funds, tally revenues and exporter fees, and track 165 exporters’ supply chains across interrelated suppliers and subcontractors producing rugs in urban factories and village-based cottage industry.

Every GoodWeave-certified rug gets a label with a unique number. And that number has to be completely traceable back to the rug’s production history, sometimes including dyeing and spinning operations, to ensure its integrity.

“From the beginning, we needed a solution to support a range of organizational functions,” says Smith. “I had used FileMaker at a previous nonprofit, so I knew it would be powerful and flexible enough to support our complex operation.”


Inspections covering 39,000 workers

In 1999 when GoodWeave’s U.S. organization was founded, it began working with FileMaker Business Alliance Member Colibri Solutions, LLC to create a custom database that streamlined nearly every aspect of the nonprofit’s operations. Today, the FileMaker solution helps the headquarters staff manage communications, website updates, fundraising and financial management. Believing in the GoodWeave cause, Colibri has contributed much of the development work pro bono.

“In any nonprofit, the priority is to make the work sustainable, and this includes raising and using money effectively,” says Smith. “Without our FileMaker solution, it would be nearly impossible to manage our funding relationships.”

In addition to fund development management, GoodWeave uses FileMaker to track supply chain inspection data. Currently, forty-five field personnel complete inspections and report on close to 3,500 factory inspections annually covering 39,000 plus workers. The inspections are difficult, because the carpet-making trade is a cottage industry dispersed among tens of thousands small factories, village “loom-sheds” and even inside of homes.

During inspections more than 65 data points are collected, such as the makeup of the workforce and the exporter employing the factory. Inspections are sensitive due to poor working conditions, and information gathered almost always pertains to children. Findings need to be kept secure through role-based, password-protected access.

If child labor violations are found and children are rescued, then GoodWeave provides them with a range of social services. The ultimate aim is to get them enrolled in school with GoodWeave support– and, whenever possible, reunited with their families. All of these efforts require lock-step logistics and an extreme need for confidentiality.

Inspections today are still conducted on paper because inspectors work in areas where electricity and Internet access are sporadic. The data is uploaded to a central FileMaker Server at headquarters for analysis and action. GoodWeave, however, plans to accelerate inspections in the future by replacing paper with iPads and FileMaker Go.

Tiny Staff

Tiny staff, huge mission

Once a carpet is produced by a child-labor-free facility and assigned a number, FileMaker tracks it, no matter where it is exported – anywhere around the world. Retailers and consumers can feel proud that they are carrying and purchasing rugs, respectively, with the GoodWeave label. And GoodWeave can rest assured that it is helping solve one of the world’s most disturbing and difficult problems: child labor.

The organization is now initiating a compelling new campaign about a true story, called “Stand with Sanju.” It’s making the organization more successful than ever.

“We’re a tiny staff with a huge mission,” says Smith. “Our FileMaker solution has been instrumental in our successes in stopping child exploitation. Next, we plan to replicate the market-based approach we’ve taken with GoodWeave in other industry sectors.”

For Client:

Scott Welker
Director of Business Development
GoodWeave International
2001 South Street NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC  20009

For Developer:

Karen Seiger
Strategic Marketing and Business Development
Colibri Solutions
873 Broadway, Suite 502A
New York, NY 10003


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