Conference Roundup: Rating Charities
“You’re a D charity so your work isn’t worthwhile,” he said, using this example to get his point across: “If I was to start a charity tomorrow with the sole purpose of abolishing the dollar bill, and you send in the money and I got an incinerator and burned them [the dollars], I would be a four-star charity because I did exactly what I said I was going to do with the money.
“That’s how ridiculous it is,” he said.
Co-presenter Leslie Crutchfield, managing director of Ashoka Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and co-author of the book “Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits,” said her research showed that truly effective nonprofits implement several practices, including advocating and serving, nurturing nonprofit networks and inspiring evangelists.
She added that the nonprofits her book found to be “high-impact” had both high and low ratings from the watchdog groups like GuideStar, Charity Navigator, the American Institute of Philanthropy and the Better Business Bureau.
What she and co-author Heather McLeod Grant found was that “high-impact nonprofits create ways to engage supporters.”
“They share values and create meaningful experiences,” she said, pointing to Habitat for Humanity as a good example. “They engage volunteers to go out and build houses. And then they share their meaningful experiences.”
There needs to be a new “framework for success,” Crutchfield said, adding that nonprofits need to build the organization and build the movement, find points of leverage to achieve maximum impact, and “move beyond measuring just what’s measurable and measure what matters.”