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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Transparency... Right

Someone said to me today, "transparency, that's the big word today.  It's a really big word."  Indeed.  Isn't your local paper covering the Wikileaks story?  Who isn't talking about transparency?  Well, one sector that talks about it too little is the nonprofit sector. 

The reality is, that you can not keep anything hidden today.  So why are so many non profits focused on what information they won't share?  If you don't think donors would support you if they knew how operations were carried out, the level of waste in your processes or what your true administrative costs are, you are probably right.  But the answer isn't to not be honest with donors.  Fix what's wrong and then be comfortable with the truth and share it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What will Jumo Bring?

Chris Hughes who founded Facebook is launching a site to be the Yelp of philanthropy.  Hurrah.  We have long been saying at end l start that the marketplace demands transparency -- and that includes transparency with people's experience with a charity.  Some people will say this further scrutiny and info sharing will be a burden to charities and cause them to have to focus on p.r. instead of mission.  I disagree.  Focus on excellence in mission and the quality of the work will beat any forced p.r. spin. 

Let's turn up the lights folks and join the marketplace.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Let's Lose the Industrial Model to Fundraising

Seth Godin did a webinar for Network for Good on the 12th and suggested that the industrial model of mass production and maximum efficiency may be bad for fundraising because it's time has gone.  He's right that ours is not a profession know for flexibility, delivering the unexpected or using technology to deliver the personal. However, here you have an organization like Network for Good doing ALL that by enabling practioners in the field to hear Seth and ponder his ideas (and maybe buy his books)

But don't we have potential.....we deal in a world where emotion rules, relationships abound, and proximity to the best minds (our volunteers) is close.  So how do we move the needle and ratchet it up some notches?  It's going to take risk, mistakes, investment of time and money. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Donor Bill of Rights

Not being harassed is not specifically listed on the Donor Bill of Rights.  So, technically the Darmouth and Cornell senior class fundraisers who put a full court/class press on peers to donate to their class gift didn't violate anything official. But is that what donors want or deserve?  The Chronicle of Higher Education story included student comments which were both positive and negative (the majority included) about the experience.  We know that generation Y is more likely to vote early and vote often with their feet.  So giving them reason to feel the giving experience wasn't good in the very beginning seems to out weigh the goal of getting them to give early.