Monday, March 26, 2012

I put this in the self-inflicted category


The Komen Foundation is having problems meeting its fundraising goals at recent events. Why doesn't this surprise me?
  • They shot themselves in the foot with the Planned Parenthood flap and their inability to handle the bad press.
  • They shot themselves in the foot when their 990s (tax forms for non profits) showed the high salaries paid to executives and amounts that went to research vs. what goes to run events.
  • They shot themselves in the foot when key employees started leaving the organization - which had very little to do with the Planned Parenthood flap. Now their board chair is leaving allegedly at the request of his employer to distance himself from the organization.
  • And they completely 'opened mouth, inserted foot' with every effort to handle these issues.

Now their wallet and bank account is taking a hit. This is becoming the poster child for how not to run a non-profit.

A non-profit needs to be clear in how their funds are used, they need complete transparency on their finances, they need to stand behind what they say they do, and they should not succumb to political pressures. Not only that, they need to be very clear on all of the above. If a potential donor wants to know any of the above, it must be very easy to find the information. Any potential possibility of false pretenses will result in lack of donations. This is what has happened to Komen.

I happen to work for a local non-profit and handle fundraising, development, outreach, and marketing. I strive to be as clear as possible with what we do, what are our goals, and where our money goes. It is a very small organization so we do not have as complicated finances that Komen has but transparency is invaluable.

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