Helping Donors to Better Understand You
Nonprofit organizations make our world better, every day, through the unbeatable combination of strong programs and strong fundraising. It’s virtually impossible to make a meaningful, long-term difference without both.
Those of us on the fundraising side of the equation know what it takes to build a great fundraising program.
But that knowledge and understanding is not always translated well from our sector to the good people who support us. And many times, public perception comes down to the way charity watchdogs evaluate our effectiveness.
It’s time for us to help donors more accurately evaluate nonprofits as they choose organizations to support.
Let’s provide a better way to measure a nonprofit’s effectiveness through an evaluation tool that’s more meaningful than the number of overhead stars from a Charity Connoisseur, and easier for donors and reporters than “come volunteer and see for yourself.”
Enter the DMA Nonprofit Federation
Last year, DMANF created a Best Practices Code of Ethics for direct-response fundraising. It’s a smart way to hold our work to the highest standards of integrity.
This year, the DMANF completed a two-year exercise to provide a standardized tool that nonprofits can use to help donors understand what they do and to answer the question of effectiveness.
The new Nonprofit Dashboard (view the image at right) allows donors to see the important metrics that indicate a healthy nonprofit, rather than reducing all of them to one or two simplistic measurements (e.g., overhead). Are you purposely investing to expand your donor file? What are your annual program deliverables? Are you growing year over year? Perhaps most importantly, the Nonprofit Dashboard takes the long view (at least a year), rather than judging a single campaign to assess fundraising effectiveness.
All DMANF members are being asked to complete the new Nonprofit Dashboard and post it on their websites.