I’ve just read an interesting post from Philanthropy Impact on the whether philanthropists (and in my view all donors), should talk about their giving or give quietly.
The author concluded that providing a platform for donors who shout about what their gift achieves should be encouraged, but that the platform isn’t deserved by those who only talk about the fact they gave.
Which I find very interesting. the argument that giving isn’t necessarily morally right, unless the giver knows it’s effective can be persuasive, but it does reveal a challenge. What of those donors funding something untested or experimental? And what of those donors who believe that they’re giving effectively, but don’t know for certain because the charity isn’t providing the right reporting.
I think that it can still be difficult in Britain for donors to give publically, for fear of being viewed as giving for the wrong reasons, and I believe that this is where it’s the charity’s responsibility to help their donors appreciate the impact of their gift.
Not only because it enables them to shout about it – and in doing so encourage others to join them – but also because inspiring people with the change that they make, the problems they’re solving, and the lives that they’re improving is the only way that they’ll consider doing it again. If someone donates to my charity only once, it’s probably because they don’t know that they helped to fix the problem they wanted to fix. And that’s my fault.
Everyone who’s donated to any charity I’ve worked for has helped to make the world a better place – if not for everyone then, at the very least, for someone.
Whether you’re a donor or a fundraiser, what’s the best way for charities to show you that your donation achieved your aim?