I was in a local sporting goods store last weekend and a crafty salesclerk sold me a golf club that, he promised, would take 3 shots off my game.Â He told me that the head of the driver was made from a lunar based alloy that enabled the ball, once hit, to defy the law of gravity.
I took out a home equity loan and bought the club.
The following day, by the third hole, I figured out that Newtonian physics still applied to my golf game and I regarded my newly acquired club with utter contempt.
I expected a return on my investment.
So do your annual fund donors.
Last night, on Sixty Minutes, there was an excellent treatment on “venture philanthropy.”
People who engage in venture philanthropy usually make gifts, big gifts, no, really big gifts, to a charitable cause and focus upon the outcome of their generosity.Â If the charitable venture can not demonstrate those outcomes in a reasonable amount of time, then the giving simply, well, Â stops.
In a recent issue of US News and World Report, there was an article on how donors, and not the Sixty Minutes kind, regular donors, are paying close attention to the outcomes of the agencies that they are choosing to support.
In order for charitiable agencies to demononstrate how funds are being used, in a way that may be clearly seen and measured by current and prospective donors, the agency must be transparent in how it makes those program outcomes known.
And such transparency has to be more than a simple pie chart that we place on the back of an annual fund brochure.
Oh, and if some guy named Tom tries to sell you a golf club that looks real pretty, run like the wind.