This post in Don't Tell The Donor really surprises us, since we generally find this guy quite insightful … hence his inclusion on our blogroll.
Basically the post calls “total rubbish” the following comment by a writer for a local business publication:
Today, nonprofits need to operate like a business. Budgeting funds is a must, along with executing careful and appropriate fund raising with outcome measures in place to asses its use of funds and success.
For the record, the local biz writer goes on to say (here's the full article):
Measuring outcomes is more than just good management. Having accessible outcomes data also improves the organizationsí capacity to fund raise and advocate on behalf of its mission and clients. Nonprofits need to market what they do to their community and have open books for their funders.
To which we say: Absolutely! Absolutely! Absolutely!
To not understand that the fundamental demand for accountability is growing — in fact, becoming paramount — among each and every donor category is like denying gravity exists. Indeed, that's one of the key strategic conclusions of the very NYU Wagner School study on donor confidence apparently misread by Don't Tell The Donor. Here's our review of the must-read Wagner Study from awhile back, which includes a link to the full study.
If you “Don't tell the donor” how you are achieving outcomes and carefully stewarding her or his contributions you might as well kiss that donor good-bye. Whatever the role other institutions, like big business, have played in undermining public trust in general, like it or not, that diminished trust in all institutions is the reality every fundraiser and every nonprofit must confront head-on today.