The Age of Philanthropic Reform
By Christian Braemer
Cofounder & CEO, Benefunder
Like many people, I have been disappointed and disheartened over the recent news about certain charities embezzling millions of dollars from donors who thought they were supporting cancer research. This makes the important work nonprofits do more challenging.
This also brings up the hot-seat topic of philanthropy reform. According to a recent
New York Times article, Who Will Watch the Charities?, "There has been a push in recent years to hold nearly every sector of American life to tougher standards of accountability, from professional sports to finance to medicine to higher education. The same scrutiny needs to be applied to philanthropy."
So, how do we keep the pendulum from swinging too far? The best way forward is for nonprofit leaders to step up and renew their commitment to donor stewardship. The ultimate goal of any foundation should be to close its doors as quickly as possible because its mission has been reached. A great example is the Michael J. Fox Foundation, whose aggressive goal is to help accelerate a cure for Parkinson's Disease so the organization is no longer needed. It is essential that charities measure themselves on real impact rather than the size of their fund or even how much they can raise.
Through Benefunder's Charitable Innovation Fund, 90% of a donor's contribution goes directly to the research institution for the innovator, which provides them the resources they need to meet their research goals without having to bother with the bureaucracy normally associated with giving.
At Benefunder, we have created a new and improved giving model that allows the donor to decide what to fund, while providing the information they need to make smarter decisions. Additionally, we work with wealth advisors looking to do right by their clients. We have streamlined the gifting process, which is usually expensive and time consuming, and rarely produces solid results. We believe in promoting long-term engagement between donors and recipients, and we do this through our platform, events, and regular updates.
I hope to see other nonprofits adopt similar new strategies to better serve donors while increasing transparency
. This will promote positive news headlines and create more impactful giving, while supporting the innovation economy that America was built upon.
|To learn more about our Charitable Innovation Fund, please contact Tom Paparatto at firstname.lastname@example.org.