On Donors and Metrics in 2014

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There is little more frustrating to me than seeing nonsense published as guidance to nonprofits or donors.

Because, actually, the fundraising landscape is pretty complicated right now, and sending people down the wrong path makes it that much harder for them to reach their goals. So I wanted to direct your attention to two stories we published today.

The first has to do with some claims made by a United Way about their fundraising efficiencies. And this one in particular gets under my skin, because I have seen this claim made by other United Ways in an equally spurious manner. Essentially, this particular group is making the case that their efficiency as an organization is superior because their fundraising and administration costs are lower than the average nonprofit. This argument is specious on so many levels, and John Brothers, one of our newswire writers, breaks it down masterfully.

The second story, by Rob Meiksins, is about the reasons people give—one reason being socially based, and not always that straightforward, especially if you do not know your targeted donor either personally or professionally.

NPQ is conscious that, as the year ends, many of us are thinking about fundraising, and doing a lot of it! We would love to hear from you about what methods you are exploring, as well as your thoughts on the whole process. We welcome any “Voices from the Field” contributions on the topic.