Posts Tagged ‘results’

Yesterday, I talked about how technology can bridge the accountability gap that separates donors from beneficiaries, and in the post I shared that I would write 3 blogs showing how such examples can be used. This is the first of three posts.

Have you ever experienced listening to a member of  a church, or nonprofit organization, who can’t clearly articulate the mission or the impact of the organization?

Maybe the experience came as a friend asked you to donate money to support a charity. Or maybe, it happened when someone invited you to church, or as a friend described why they volunteers their time.

In many cases, these experiences are awkward attempts to tell the story of an organization. However, because most of these stories are told by volunteers or members, they often miss the true power of sharing the core mission and impact of an organization.

Given this experience, many organizations are now turning to technology to help them to:

  1. Tell the Story- Using their own words and images (pictures, blogs, videos, etc) (more…)

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I am just returning back to work after a week of vacation, and while I was away, I read an article that discussed how, “There is a lack of accountability within philanthropy because the people who provide the resources aren’t sufficiently well-connected to the beneficiaries they are supposed to be funding. ”

In short, the article said that technology can:

  1. Help bridge the gap between donors who provide the money to sustain a mission and those who receive the service as a benefit. (more…)

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Pie Chart


According to GuideStar, giving to nonprofits has remained fairly consistent with giving patterns in 2010.  There seems to be a slight increase, but many donors are still concerned about their personal income and the economy.

The pie chart to the right shows that 44% of nonprofits surveyed have shown an increase in giving, over the first 6 months, compared to 2010. While 25% have see no change, and 30% have seen a decrease.

In its report, GuideStar also noted that the larger the nonprofit organization, the more likely they were to see growth in income (the 44% listed above).  For example, 57% of organizations that spent more than $3 Million showed an increase in giving for 2011 over 2010. While only 34% of organizations that spent less than $250,000, showed an increase.

This information can be helpful to plot where your organization is in its fundraising, operating, and donation cycle, and I would encourage you to read the full report at www.guidestar.org

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I was recently visiting a church to assist them with some financial planning, and during my visit I asked them two questions:

  1. What is your niche ministry and mission?
  2. If I asked someone who is (name of org) how would they answer?

In response to the first question, the leaders had a difficult time naming who they were as a congregation and what they saw their specific ministry as (think uncomfortable silence). In response to the second question, the leaders were almost unanimous in saying, “People would ask you, ‘Who is that?'”

Not it could be easy to criticize this church, but in my experience, they are not alone. In almost 60-70% of the churches and other nonprofits I visit, I ask the same questions and I get the same responses.   For what ever reasons, many organizations have lost their focus on the mission that they provide.

In a recent paper, Success by Design: How R&D Activates Program Innovation and Improvement in the Nonprofit Sector, by Peter York, I found a similar reflection about designing a mission and program based on actual impacts. (more…)

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