Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Friday, July 14, 2006

The High Cost of Reporting Requirements

The United Press International has just discovered what those of us who work within nonprofit organizations have already known for years: nonprofit social service providers spend too much time and money trying to meet the reporting requirements of funder.

They quote a yearlong RAND corporation study that found that nonprofit staff spend up to half of their time (and 11% of their agencies' budgets) collecting information, tracking expenses, writing reports, and attending meetings to meet funding requirements.
"If non-profit social services groups can find ways to comply with reporting requirements more effectively and efficiently, they will have more time and money to help the clients they serve," said lead author Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, a RAND developmental psychologist. ... Lara-Cinisomo said funding agencies should try to find ways to limit the type of information they request of non-profits to the most necessary and relevant.
Nonprofits are already aware of the need to spend as little time and money as possible on meeting their reporting requirements. I just hope that funders pay attention to the second bit of advice about limiting what they request.

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