The Bottom Line When It Comes to Keeping Donors Informed
In the past two weeks we’ve been heavily promoting our report, “How Do Major Type 1 Non-Profits Rate on Corporate Governance Issues?” While there is a ton of information in the report (and we encourage you to check it out) we wanted to discuss the main point of the report as simply as possible.
Bottom line: Each charity is doing a poor job of letting donors (and the general public) know what is going behind closed doors. From Joslin not releasing their annual financial report in over 3 years, to the ADA not providing any feedback to their successes and failures, to the DRIF’s lack of any short or long term research goals, and the JDRF making little more noise than a hushed whisper about their massive change in funding strategy, each one is falling below expectations in their own unique way.
Before I go any further, I want to state that this is not a piece designed to enrage people against these charities. All of these charities raise tremendous amounts of money, and give hope to millions of people that we may someday see an end to this disease. But there are many potholes on the road to the cure, and one of the simplest and easiest to fix is simply providing more transparency and accountability. A successful corporation (for profit and non-profit) needs clearly outlined goals, plans, and strategies, as well as the ability to analyze what has been working, and what hasn’t. And last (but certainly not least), you need to keep the public and shareholders informed on just how these changes affect them.
A more informed, knowledgeable public can only help. A public that knows the facts can serve as a guidepost for an organization, giving feedback and criticism as necessary. Non-profits need to have a consistently informed donor base in order to know if they are serving there donors properly. Failing to keep people up to date on where their money is going does not help accelerate progress. This is a simple thing to rectify, and would go to great lengths in helping us push forward to a Practical Cure.
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