Free Ride

Today the Nonprofiteer coasts on the hard work and expertise of others:

  1. Check out Gift Hub’s passionate rebuttal of a currently fashionable notion, that giving is "all about the donor," as well as his critique of the growth of donor-advised funds.  Most exciting is his elegant and subtle argument connecting the two as consequences of financial advisors’ desire to keep the maximum assets under management (meaning not actually given to a charity).  Smart, clear, original.  Kudos.
  2. Getting Attention, which provides marketing advice to nonprofits, offers the results of a survey showing that marketing continues to be undervalued (not to say an absolute dirty word) at  nonprofits at least in part because nonprofit marketing executives fail to document the results it can produce.  There is a chicken-and-egg issue here–if you can’t get money for marketing, how can you expect to get money for second-order activities like its evaluation?–but it’s a salutary reminder that even in nonprofits one must demonstrate the value of what one wants.

3 Responses to “Free Ride”

  1. Nancy Schwartz Says:

    Thanks, Nonprofiteer, for your comments.

    One issue though — EVEN nonprofits have to fight for what they want. I would say nonprofit staff better plan on doing so even harder and more frequently that folks working in other sectors.

    Nonprofits need to operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness than private and public sectors, not less. I’d say nonprofit staff better be prepared to be active and aggressive in cleary identifying what they want and need, and the ROI (whether the I is budgetary or programmatic).


  2. phil Says:

    Thank you for the kind words.

  3. Nonprofiteer Says:

    You’re right, of course, that nonprofits are held to a higher standard in proving that any given expenditure will provide return–the phrase “you have to spend money to make money” is in bad odor among people who never have enough money. When I said “even” nonprofits have to demonstrate the value of what’s being requested, I was thinking about the common resistance to evaluation one encounters among charities, which frequently regard requests for evidence as being purely and simply designed to make their lives miserable.

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