Ethics/Accountability

To Publish or Not to Publish?
September 12, 2019 at 10:59 am

Nonprofits face unique challenges when communicating their impact to donors. We all work daily to ensure we’re honoring those we serve while also accurately and powerfully conveying the value of our work to our community. Intentional, purposeful communications takes time.

#MeToo: Coming to a Nonprofit Near You
January 17, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Most of the readers of our blog not only work in the nonprofit sector, but are also personal supporters of various charitable missions. Speaking for myself (Otis), I consider myself to be an “animal rights advocate” and make monthly donations to a variety of animal welfare organizations...

What You Need to Know about Nonprofit Executive Compensation
July 10, 2017 at 11:46 am

A few years ago, a person came through our program who previously spent several years in long-term addiction recovery. He had successfully reconnected with his family and friends, became a valuable member of his community and was eager to share his personal story as a way to encourage others seeking recovery. When a local reporter […]

Torpedo the Ratio
April 24, 2015

I recognize the inherent risks associated with letting go of tight financial controls. I see the awkwardness of talking to donors about the cost of raising a dollar. I see our industry playing Twister—Semantic Version with expense allocation, coming out with legal structures that allow us to say, "100 precent of your donation goes to the cause." We all know that offices, desks, computers, employees, etc., are not free. We know a marketing-minded visionary donor agreed to "0 percent of your donation goes to the cause" to allow us to make that other statement legally, though not logically.

Build an Ethical Fundraising Program to Last
April 22, 2015

Those of us in the nonprofit arena have a responsibility—and an accountability—to build things that outlast us. It's not about us as CEO, or chief development officer, or board chair, or board member. It's about building an organization that is sustainable and can grow in support of a worthy mission.

The Real Cost of Overhead
December 11, 2014

Liz's worthy organization sought to be frugal for years. Not a bad thing. Gradually, but surely, this desire to be financially responsible morphed into a cost-cutting monster. That's when the need to keep faith with investors, donors — those who pay the bills — somehow got lost in the desire to maximize cash flow and reduce overhead to zero — if possible.

6 Ideas for Dealing With 'Take Me Off Your List' Requests
September 25, 2014

How do you handle donor requests to be removed from your list? This may surprise some of you, but, "Duh! We remove them!" isn't always the right answer. Given that your donor file is so valuable, a well-thought-out strategy is needed for responding in a way that both honors the donor's intent and safeguards your asset.