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New Study Underscores Value of Nonprofit Knowledge Bases Such as DonorEdge

October 26, 2013

A recent article in the New York Times by Wealth Matters columnist Paul Sullivan discussed how and why people are making their charitable giving decisions.

Sullivan’s perspective and highlights of the recent U.S. Trust report he cites shed even more light on the importance of tools like GuideStar‘s DonorEdge platform, implemented here in Southwest Florida as The Giving Partner.

Increasingly, donors are sharing that tax incentives and tools for giving may not be as important to them as understanding which organization(s) are the best matches for their passions and charitable goals.

While financial advisors may focus on the technical aspects of the donation vehicle when working with individuals and families, many donors wish to focus their conversations largely on their charitable interests as well as family goals, the U.S. Trust report says.

This is a common experience with our donor development team here at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Vehicles for giving are important to donors, but many donors wish to talk more about maximizing their charitable investments by partnering with organizations that can address their aspirations for environmental preservation, better health care, access to human services and education, experiences in the arts, and a myriad of other “creating a better world” goals.

The U.S. Trust report shares that donors also wish to have a greater understanding of how their gifts are making a difference. We second that.

The Giving Partner is a tool to help donors make more informed decisions about giving, and the hefty program section of each nonprofit profile contains the long and short-term success measures of the organization’s programs and services, how success is measured, and examples of success.

For advisors who may have more knowledge about giving vehicles than knowledge about local organizations, The Giving Partner is a perfect aid to help them gain a better understanding of the nonprofit choices in our local market, and to also understand their financial history, management and governance structures–in addition to the priceless information about programmatic impact.

Donors can go directly to the tool to do the same.

As we move more deeply into an era where donors view themselves as charitable investors, community foundations and nonprofits share responsibility to equip them with current, in-depth knowledge about who is doing what and the difference it is making.

Special thanks to GuideStar for its vision in making this tool available and to the many nonprofits and donors in our local community who make The Giving Partner possible in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and Desoto counties.

The Giving Partner is a partnership among four foundations:  The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, The Patterson Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the Manatee Community Foundation.

-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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