Did you and your employees make WISE giving decisions at the end of 2014? Many leaders encouraged their employees to give by volunteering their time, giving goods or making matching monetary donations. In the last quarter, nonprofits generally receive the majority of their donations. In fact, about 34% of charitable giving occurs between October and December, according to the Charitable Giving Report (Blackbaud Index).
Yet, in December, national news stories questioned how some of the largest US nonprofits were spending their funds. When administrative costs exceed program expenses, red flags should go up! We encourage leaders to give wisely and to do three things in 2015 to ensure both wise philanthropic giving and prudent volunteerism.
- Before making a donation of time, talent and/or treasure, review the nonprofit’s performance on Charity Navigator (www.CharityNavigator.org). Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving and to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace, in which givers and the charities they support work in tandem to overcome our nation’s and the world’s most persistent challenges. Just as you look at your own financials, consider the nonprofits’ fiscal health, transparency of practices and results.
- After making a donation, measure and track your investment. When you and/or employees participate on boards, fundraising events, etc., follow-up as you would with your own investments. Measure the impact of your volunteer efforts. Determine whether or not you want to renew your commitment in 2015. Conduct an annual review of your giving portfolio. If your charity can’t tell you what kind of results were created from your investment, find and work with ones that will.
- Focus on those nonprofits that are making a difference. While all nonprofits have a valuable proclaimed purpose and mission, not all nonprofits are run efficiently and effectively. For those that share your strategic vision and passion, work with their nonprofit executives to ensure sustainable success. The Blackbaud Index (www.blackbaud.com) provides the most up-to-date information on charitable giving today. Tracking approximately $11 billion in US-based charitable giving, the Index is updated on the first of each month and looks at year-over-year percent changes.
Innolect is committed to growing leaders and creating high-integrity workplaces that better our world. We examine our own giving and develop Sustainable Legacies℠ programs to help clients gain the most from their volunteer efforts.
Please call or write Becky Ripley, Sustainable Legacies℠ Practice Lead, for more information.