Is Your Organization Gift Worthy?
People give for different reasons than they used to and ask a lot more questions now. Loyalty giving alone is dead. One organization asks Major Donors to consider the following:
- Worthy causes must satisfy not just your heart, but also your brain.
- Even high-minded charity and ministry leaders need to be queried about their organizations.
- While progressive donors often want to make strategic gifts that break new ground, charities’ greatest needs are usually general operating expenses, or overhead.
- Saying “no” to a proposal is sometimes the best way to help a charity.
- Donors like to support “pilot projects,” but charities are rarely good at assessing and reporting on their impact.
OneAccord NFP has responded to this changing landscape with development of the R.A.D.A.R.TM Organizational Assessment process. The R.A.D.A.R.TM Assessment helps organizations:
- Examine revenue and expense allocations and streams
- Assess attitudes and relationships within the bBoard, staff and constituency
- Conduct a details analysis within the organizational operations
- Review alignment of the mission, vision and values with the everyday culture and practices of the organization
- Anaylyze risks facing the organization both internally and externally.
5 Gift Worthiness Indicators -How Does Your Organization Measure Up?
The R.A.D.A.R.TM process is like a look “under the hood,” so to speak. It helps organizations find opportunities to make themselves more attractive to foundations and major donors by preparing them to undergo the kind of scrutiny that is detailed in the questions above. Let’s take a quick look:
1) Worthy causes must satisfy not just your heart, but also your brain.
People are no longer giving, they are investing. Investors expect a return for their investment and today’s donors want to know there is going to be used wisely, produce mission specific results and that they will be able to hear back on those results in some way. Are your systems in place to do this? Including:
- Donor Tracking: who gives what, when and why
- Gift Planning: how is the need or project understood, explained and communicated
- Gift Tracking: do you know where the gift comes in, how it is processed and where it is expensed
- Reporting: what forms and communication process is involved
2) Even high-minded charity and ministry leaders need to be queried about their organizations.
Do the Leadership Executives have the mission, vision and values embedded in their heart? Can they articulate what is happening within the organization and can they articulate where the organization needs to go and why. What do they do to help put the organization as a whole in line with the mission, vision and values? Do they live them out personally? Donors want to know the mission is more than skin deep, but has passion and perseverance behind it.
3) While progressive donors often want to make strategic gifts that break new ground, charities’ greatest needs are usually general operating expenses, or overhead. Donors want to give to projects, but your needs may be funding for operations.
To make this gift you must be able to offer proof of your stewardship. Are you a member of the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability or strive to adhere to their best practices? Do you do an annual review or audit? All of these items speak to your stewardship and use of donor revenue on a daily basis. Donors know that there are basic expenses to achieve mission, can you connect those expenses with your mission objectives?
4) Saying “no” to a proposal is sometimes the best way to help a charity.
Saying “no” probably means you are not “gift worthy” at this time. The R.A.D.A.R.™ process can help you get there. Turn a “no” into an enthusiastic “yes.” Take the initiative today, and become “gift worthy!”
5) Donors like to support “pilot projects,” but charities are rarely good at assessing and reporting on their impact.
If people are investing then they won’t throw money at something that doesn’t have a return. Communicating what you accomplish in line with your mission is the bottom line to their investment. They will cease to invest in your mission if you don’t tell them what is being achieved. A commonly taught axiom in philanthropy is that donors need to be thanked six ways for every gift received. Communicating your results is a form of thank you.