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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Recognition versus Gratitude

It's sometimes easy for fundraisers to focus on recognition of donors -- which can be described on paper and be part of "stewardship systems" -- but can miss the opportunity to express real gratitude to donors.  Gratitude can be simple.  It can be short and to the point.  One of the best thank you letters I ever received was for a small gift I made to a local school. The principal wrote a short note telling me how she would make use of the money and thanking me.  It stood out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Accounting Board of Standards -- New Demands on Non-Profits

Today the Accounting Board of Standards' Non-Profit Advisory Committee released its finding that non-profits should improve their financial reporting.  Hurrah.

The Committee made recommendations for changes in accounting rules that would:
  • Make it easier for donors to compare organizations' financial information.
  • Provide analysis similar to what for-profit companies give to their shareholders.
  • Reduce complexity in financial reporting.
Strong non-profits -- no matter how large or small -- require strong financial management.  And if an organization is well managed financially, it is not so difficult to tell that story to the public...

To share 990 and audit reports... To provide information about the cost (and real value) of infrastructure... To talk about the return on investment in program accomplishments.

The standards for disclosure, appropriate costs for fundraising and management, dialogue with donors on organizational financial performance are all CHANGING.

We can be dragged into the new world in a way that does everything BUT inspire donor confidence, or we can get ahead of the curve by adopting standards for accountability that build donor trust and support. Seems like an easy choice to me.