The Giving Partner: One Answer to Ending the Focus on Administrative Expenses

March 26, 2013

Several folks in the community have e-mailed Dan Pallotta’s recent TED talk to us over the last few days.

In “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong,” Pallotta asserts that measuring nonprofits by what they spend instead of by what they accomplish will not take us far along the path of social progress. Like most of us in the field, we’re big believers in this message.

A few years ago, Gulf Coast Community Foundation brought Pallotta to town to address an audience of donors, nonprofits and community leaders. His message and delivery were both big hits. Recently, funders from across the state had a chance to hear him speak at the Florida Philanthropic Network’s annual conference in Orlando.

Although Pallotta has been sharing this story for years now, there is no doubt that some donors find it difficult to break out of an old paradigm focused on low salaries for talented nonprofit leaders and extremely low administrative expenses as “worthiness factors” for charitable contributions.

Local funders are taking an active role in providing ongoing guidance to help bridge a shift in understanding.

The Giving Partner shares the more comprehensive view of nonprofit effectiveness we are seeking, providing donors and prospective supporters with knowledge about your programmatic impact, leadership, and strategies–in addition to financials.

Though many elements of nonprofit profiles are verified data points, the profile also allows organizations to share their history, goals and accomplishments, examples of program success and more.

Your partnership with us in developing and updating your nonprofit’s profile in The Giving Partner helps us relay your story more fully. And by choosing a few strategic goals to focus on every year, your overall success will increase and be visible in a central place where local funders and donors can view it.

GuideStar provides this technology in partnership with forward-thinking communities across the country. We’re proud to be one of those communities, and we offer this service to philanthropists big and small through your participation.

Keep up the great work.

Thanks to Wendy Leslie, Lori Denison, and the host of others who have forwarded Dan Pallotta’s video and recent commentaries to us. We always look forward to your e-mails.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


One Response to “The Giving Partner: One Answer to Ending the Focus on Administrative Expenses”

  1. Karissa Mayer Says:

    Another wonderful point. As a young, growing organization, transitioning from having zero employees to 8, we are very concerned about how that looks on paper. Paying front line employees minimum wage for physically hard work leads to high turnover and burn out, which costs us more money in the long run. Our executive administration staff is also very hands on, and works long hours. A sixty hour work week is a light week for us, and would make our average wage about $12 an hour. Donors can’t see that when they are looking at a salary on paper. The profile helps donors focus on the achievments of those long hours, instead of the paycheck.

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