Several years ago in one of my business classes the instructor introduced the concept that we can expect what we inspect. In other words, if we want to accomplish something, we improve our chances of getting there if we’ve defined a measurable result we want to see and keep an eye on whether or not we’re seeing progress in that area. In the post below from Stanford Social Innovation Review, the author provides a specific example of this concept in action in the nonprofit sector.
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Charities are concerned about the accessibility of people who have donor-advised funds, especially since cultivating personal relationships with donors is a key fundraising strategy. Benjamin Pierce, president of Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, said that 95 percent of his organization’s grants are made with full disclosure about the donors’ identities. Several other donor-advised fund representatives confirmed that only a small minority of giving through their funds is done anonymously.
Our recent post Stop it. Fix It on barriers to growth was triggered by Jay Love’s prediction that when Giving USA 2015 was released it would show that once again charitable giving in the U.S. would not exceed 2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Sure enough, two weeks later on June 15th Giving USA 2015 was released and once again reported that charitable giving remained at the 2% level. The same 2% of GDP that Giving USA has reported year after year after year.
In reality, is this year after year stagnant benchmark of 2% reported by Giving USA really believable?
Picture this: You’ve just launched a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign with an inspiring, well-executed kickoff event. You sit back in your office chair, smile, and pat yourself on the back. Your job is done. Right?
In many ways, launching your peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising campaign is just the beginning of your work on the project. To keep your campaign strong, you must keep the momentum going by coaching, supporting, and motivating your fundraisers.
Here’s how to make your donor a hero:
- If you are a garden, say in your appeal letter that the donors are bringing the love of nature to the whole community.
- If you are a crisis shelter, talk about how your donors are extending a loving hand to people in serious trouble.
- If you are a school, say that your donors are bringing the special extras that help kids learn faster…
Without a clear, specific, measurable goal in mind—which we stated publicly to hold ourselves accountable—it seems unlikely that NYSHealth would have achieved the success it did in our work to improve the health of people with diabetes. By identifying and staying relentlessly focused on our desired outcome, we had the freedom to change course rather than cling to an initial strategy that wasn’t paying off.
What gets measured gets done.
Most nonprofits do recognize the importance of the role of the board chair, but sometimes miss the boat on making sure he or she is successful because they are not clear on responsibilities. In addition, many organizations sometimes don’t look close enough at their nominating committee or don’t think that committee is as important as say, the finance, fundraising or executive committees. On the contrary, this committee can be very powerful…