Sleepless in 2013?
Round 2: Transparency
CJ: One of the things that I wanted to bring up that I think is going to be pretty important is the need and expectation for total transparency and access to nonprofits in the future.
There seems to be, particularly for newer organizations — if you take charity: water, for example, they have a really strong base of ways that their donors and supporters can interact with the organization. And they’re very clear on what they do and where the money goes, and while the model might be easier and work well for charity: water, I’m wondering how other nonprofits that have a more complicated model will be able to mirror that same type of transparency and that same type of access.
JS: That’s a really good point, and it’s something we all struggle with. So Jeff Jowdy, do you want to talk about what you’re seeing in the
Jeff Jowdy: Absolutely. Transparency really goes to something that always resonates for those of us in the fundraising world as ethics, and as how you present yourself and whether are you congruent with who you say you are and what you do and with reality. And certainly on a number of levels, and with the mass-media marketing and the Internet, it’s giving donors access to information about you — information that the 990s require and even beyond that to the planning process, being transparent about where you’re headed. And on another level, it oftentimes resonates in the nonprofit world as compensation. I gave a talk a couple of weeks ago at a rotary club on one topic, and all of the questions were on ethics and compensation because, for example, they had seen a board not paying attention and a CEO gone wild, so to speak. So being transparent on several levels and communicating, but it also resonates as the responsibility of the board to be the watchdog.