June 15, 2010
Study of Donors Reveals Relative Performance Has Little ImpactHope Consulting of San Francisco, supported by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, the Metanoia Fund of Boston, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, recently issued a report on charitable giving. Titled Money for Good: The US Market for Impact Investments and Charitable Gifts from Individual Donors and Investors, the report explored three key questions through a study of donors with incomes over $80,000:
1. How can nonprofits more effectively obtain donations from individuals?
2. How can a greater share of donations go to the highest performing nonprofits?
3. What is the market potential for impact investing and how can it be realized?
As noted in a Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the report, one of the more interesting findings is that while these donors say they want to support more effective charities, they are rarely willing to to either research or base their giving decisions on performance. These results suggest that simply requiring more disclosure of information about nonprofits is not enough to better inform donors; instead, it is also important to determine how such information can be delivered to donors such that they receive and use it.
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