Friday, September 10, 2010
The Seattle Times reports (a related piece is in The New York Times) on The Seattle Foundation's new program, launched on Wednesday, that provides financial data and other information on approximately 700 local nonprofits groups to potential donors. Previously, the information was only available to clients who maintained accounts, or donor-advised funds, with the Foundation. The Foundation seeks to more fully engage both present and potential donors with information that will aid them in making their charitable giving decisions. As discussed in the New York Times article, such programs can offer more alternatives to donors who would otherwise default to a larger, national charity, instead of a lesser known local charity. Although other databases exist that provide information on charities in an effort to connect them with donors, what makes the Seattle Foundation's program unique is that it offers "snapshot evaluations" based on the Foundation's own research. As the Seattle Times article concludes, the Foundation's efforts reflect "the importance of connecting donors and recipients, and allowing philanthropy to be more personalized, transparent and direct."