Goals for a Great Charitable Organization

The astoundingly big numbers of charity fraud cases around the United States call for supervision and regulations of philanthropic organizations. In order to maintain a certain level of excellence, federal and state representatives from the Federal Trade Commission have worked together to look comb through paperwork of different organizations in question and uncover bad behavior.

Peter Bouchard - charityIt is extremely difficult to eradicate this type of behavior across the industry, but with the help of tangible governmental institutions fraud cases could diminish significantly. In the last few months four cancer charities were punished for stealing millions of dollars from donors and supporters. Many other organizations have been criticized for little to no supervision, or inappropriate usage of funds. The past couple of decades have seen a big increase of philanthropies supporting sectors such as education, medicine, social issues, and even music and the arts.

One of the main reasons why charities have gotten such a bad name, is because of the lack of punishable consequences in place for these actions. This structure invites corruption and questionable behavior. In order to bring some organizational structure to the nonprofit world, author David Callahan has come up with four main goals to strive for.

1. Being transparent with donations is great way to stay accountable with your supporters and public. There are special instances where this wont be possible due to the anonymous nature of some funds.

2. Not all philanthropy is charitable. There should be specific guidelines regarding tax break donors get in relation to their immediate impact to improving society. These actions can be measured individually.

3. Always be accountable about how the money is spent. Create small check points throughout your organizations that can asses your funds and their usage.

Although these points are valid and could help on a smaller scale, there needs to be a broader system that oversees the bureaucracy of this system. Stronger law enforcement should be established in order to punish fraudulent behavior.

Charity Appeal a Factor?

NPR released quite the unusual finding recently calculating the extrinsic influences on those donating to charities. While many people give to charities simply because they are magnanimous and want to contribute to societal reforms and general improvement in their world, an unorthodox study found men more likely to give to more to charities after seeing the large contributions of others, and when dealing with attractive fundraisers.

Peter Bouchard - London MarathonPublic online donations were solicited for the 2014 London Marathon in such a way that givers could see the charities of their choice, others who contributed and the amounts they gave. One more thing, anyone visiting a donation page could see the individual collecting funds on behalf of the organization. When others were influenced by large amounts previously given, they contributed an average of £10 more, but when others were influenced by an attractive figurehead they gave £28 more. What this means is competitiveness plays as great an integral role in the marketplace of charity as it does in the range of fields from for-profit businesses to sports matches.

Researchers involved asked contributors to rate the attractiveness of fundraisers before giving, and large amounts were recorded. Profile photos featuring attractive and friendly faces and smiles raised more money than others; men and women alike who displayed a genial appearance encouraged more generous donations. Among other things, this goes to show that interpersonal warmth is as important a factor to a team’s success as an attractive business model. Analogically, this suggests that on some levels it is important for an organization to present itself as it would to a potential partner, presenting itself as a suitable fit. The greatest level of competitiveness in donating came from men giving to charities represented by a female they recognized as pleasant and appealing implying evolutionary instinct may be more at play than one would originally think. Women did not show as much competition regarding organizations featuring a male figurehead, hinting at a different source of motivation to impress. Nichola Raihani, an evolutionary biologist at University College London who reviewed the study, explained that men want to donate to charity to seem caring and to show concern for social issues—a trait that is encouraged and admired in societies with money to give.