The following is a cross-post by Dvorit Mausner, Hope Neighbor, and Greg Ulrich of Hope Consulting. You can read the original here.
Money for Good research indicates that a nonprofit organization’s sharpened focus on effectiveness can be critical to its fundraising and donor engagement… But what if outcomes information is too dry or overwhelming for certain individuals? (We know that the majority of donors does not typically research nonprofits before making charitable contributions.) Especially for those donors, inspiration to support high-performing nonprofits might happen when effectiveness research feels fun and rewarding. What if investigations were special? Below, the team from Hope Consulting, co-authors of More Money for More Good, write about the positive effect of putting some additional care into giving this season, with comparisons to shopping for holiday presents. In the comments, tell us how you think differently about giving gifts during the holidays.
- What causes do you care about? Spend a meal – alone or with your family – reflecting on what matters to you. Talk about ways that you can give with meaning.
- Go a bit deeper and discover which nonprofits best serve your favorite cause. There are over one million charities in the US, and they have different approaches and capabilities. Many resources can help you choose which organization/s to support. Make a difference by consulting GuideStar for information, reading expert reviews at Philanthropedia, or exploring nonprofit ratings at Charity Navigator.
- Follow up. Your gift is not the end, but the beginning of your relationship with a nonprofit you newly support. It is rewarding to get feedback on our charitable contributions, just as we learn if our holiday presents are appreciated and well used. The next time Greg visits his parents, he will notice if the reupholstered chair is in his mother’s living room (or back under the tarp in the garage)! Similarly, ask organizations how your money made a difference, and how the charity plans to continue improving its work in the future.