Another View on Nonprofit Effectiveness

July 18, 2013 Posted by Jessica Shofler in Accountability, Board, Fundraising, News

Has all the recenindext news about how to measure nonprofit effectiveness left your charity confused? The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation, a national association of charities and their direct marketers, thinks it has the answer – a set of fundraising principles.

The Federation based these principles on how it believes “legitimate” charities conduct fundraising. It hopes that the principles will be instructive to all nonprofits. The Federation also hopes that the principles will serve as a counterpoint to charity watchdogs’ overly simplistic formulas for determining effectiveness (for which the watchdogs recently apologized in part, as we previously reported).

What do the principles instruct? Among others, a nonprofit must have:

1.    A well-defined mission statement that allows a donor to make an informed decision about whether to donate.
2.    Accurate and transparent messaging that accurately describes how the organization uses its money.
3.    Written agreements with fundraisers that give the organization control over the message, the collection of funds, and donor information.

An overriding theme of the principles is that a nonprofit’s efficiency should be judged based on its overall results, not the costs of a single fundraising effort. The Federation emphasizes that current fundraising strategies may not pay off until future years.

Read all the principles here.

Let us know by posting below if your nonprofit is changing its fundraising efforts based on these principles or other recent guidance.

NOTE: The information contained herein is not intended to be legal advice and the reader should know that no Attorney-Client relationship or privilege is formed by the posting or reading of this article which is also not intended to solicit business.

Casey Summar, Partner, The Law Firm for Non-Profits, 4705 Laurel Canyon Blvd, #306, Studio City, CA 91607

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