Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Need For Transparency (Nicole Wilken)



 Outside of the world of non-profit organizations, there is a mentality that “non-profit” implies that everyone who works at these organizations is a volunteer. However, someone has to be a liaison between the people who have the money and the people who need the help. Non-profit managers have a variety of responsibilities, including compiling resources about current issues, suggesting fundraising opportunities and mobilizing people to carry out the solutions.

As a fundraising professional: Many donors assume that 100% of their donations will go directly to the project. Be clear with your donors about where the money is going and be able to justify administrative costs as a necessary part of the process. Cultivate a relationship with your donors. Your job is not just about getting donations, but focus on building relationships with your donors as well. Be sure to thank them and, if applicable, ask them for continued support. Keep your online information – like on guidestar.org – accurate and consistent with your organization’s mission.

As a donor: You have a right to know what your money will be funding. Check resources to make sure the organizations are credible. A great website is guidestar.org, which allows you to view the financial documents of any non-profit organization for free. In addition, direct your specific questions to people who work in the organization. Knowing where your money will go allows you to have confidence in your philanthropic decisions. Start small with your donations and make sure you are comfortable with the organization before considering a larger donation. Your philanthropy is as much about your relationship with the organization as it is about your contribution to the larger goal of the organization.

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