Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Getting Realistic about Funding Non Profits

There are two discussions on the Mentor Exchange forum that I encourage you to visit.

One is titled "Getting Realistic about Funding Non Profits" and focuses on the infrastructure costs that are essential to building great businesses, but which are terribly underfunded in non profit organizations. Read the article titled The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle, by Don Howard, Ann Goggins Gregory.

I can't tell you how often I look at the guidelines of potential donors which say "we don't pay for salaries". How would a business operate if there were no people on staff? Yet, that's what many grant makers seem to expect.

The second article is titled "Measuring Outcomes Across Multiple Youth Serving Organizations and Programs". The recommended reading is this report:

Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact, by Mark Kramer, Marcie Parkhurst, and Lalitha Vaidyanathan, FSG Social Impact Advisors, 2009

If volunteers,leaders, board members, donors, policy makers can read the same information, and view shared actions toward common goals, maybe we can move more consistently toward the real work of helping kids.


Lee said...

Hi Dan,
Thanks for posting the article on the vicious cycle on non-profit funding. I've seen this in play over and over; this article gives some useful insights that can be used by np's now to open discussions with funders.
I work with Debra Berg and she speaks very highly of you and what you are doing. Thanks for caring about the youth!
Lee Owen, writepointmedia@gmail.com

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Thanks Lee. I posted another article about Catalytic Philanthropy, which I also encourage you to read.

People in different cities can share the role of finding the types of leaders described in this report. If we find them, and help them, we all benefit and so do the kids and communities we're trying to help.

If we don't find them, we'll each struggle to do the good work we're trying to do and that most donors want.