Archive for July 2012

‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ Charities’ Song to their funders

I found this Motown song ringing in my head after this morning’s AFP breakfast on Foundation Funding and how to get it.

The panel included representatives of the Vancouver Foundation, VanCity, United Way Lower Mainland and TELUS.

One of the presenters (VanCity) that has worked with the Demonstrating Value Project commented that the process of evaluation following a grant had been too onerous for charities.

I took the opportunity to ask the panel if any progress had been made in constructing a common evaluation form. Apparently, at least in these circles, it is being discussed but little progress has been made so far.

In the meantime, charities are encouraged to act as though no amount of work/time is too much if that is what the funder wants.

We are nearing the end of two decades of measuring outcomes, proving value and assuring the funder that their money has been well spent.

Have we gone too far? Is it time to rein in those expectations and take advantage of technical advances that could provide all the answers our donors need without spending all our precious time on this one aspect of our jobs?

Are we ready to ask our donors to commit to this endeavour?