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The Giving Partner: One Answer to Ending the Focus on Administrative Expenses

The following is a cross-post by Susie Bowie, director of nonprofit strategy at The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, a GuideStar DonorEdge Learning Community member. You can read the original post on the Giving Partner Blog here.

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Several folks in the community have e-mailed Dan Pallotta’s recent TED talk to us over the last few days.

In “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong,” Pallotta asserts that measuring nonprofits by what they spend instead of by what they accomplish will not take us far along the path of social progress. Like most of us in the field, we’re big believers in this message.

A few years ago, Gulf Coast Community Foundation brought Pallotta to town to address an audience of donors, nonprofits and community leaders. His message and delivery were both big hits. Recently, funders from across the state had a chance to hear him speak at the Florida Philanthropic Network’s annual conference in Orlando.

Although Pallotta has been sharing this story for years now, there is no doubt that some donors find it difficult to break out of an old paradigm focused on low salaries for talented nonprofit leaders and extremely low administrative expenses as ”worthiness factors” for charitable contributions.

Local funders are taking an active role in providing ongoing guidance to help bridge a shift in understanding.

The Giving Partner shares the more comprehensive view of nonprofit effectiveness we are seeking, providing donors and prospective supporters with knowledge about your programmatic impact, leadership, and strategies–in addition to financials.

Though many elements of nonprofit profiles are verified data points, the profile also allows organizations to share their history, goals and accomplishments, examples of program success and more.

Your partnership with us in developing and updating your nonprofit’s profile in The Giving Partner helps us relay your story more fully. And by choosing a few strategic goals to focus on every year, your overall success will increase and be visible in a central place where local funders and donors can view it.

GuideStar provides this technology in partnership with forward-thinking communities across the country. We’re proud to be one of those communities, and we offer this service to philanthropists big and small through your participation.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks to Wendy Leslie, Lori Denison, and the host of others who have forwarded Dan Pallotta’s video and recent commentaries to us. We always look forward to your e-mails.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice