While some people have agreed with me that, "it's about time that donors put the needs of nonprofits ahead of their own," others have taken great exception to that. One such person is Barbara Ruth Saunders, who this morning wrote:
Aren't nonprofit organizations, in fact, supposed to be the vehicle by which DONORS direct their resources to goals which are socially important to the DONORS? The board should be determining how the organization can serve the goals. The staff should be executing the programs that support those strategies. But, I have a huge problem with the notion of nonprofits as being a means for a handful of grandiose people to exercise their social aims with other people's money!To which I replied:
That said, the immediate client of the fundraiser is the organization; the fundraiser helps the organization assure the DONORS that it is aligned with the DONORS' ultimate intentions.
Thank you, Barbara, for your impassioned post, but I do respectfully disagree with your assertion that "nonprofit organizations [are] supposed to be the vehicle by which DONORS direct their resources to goals which are socially important to the DONORS."Was I out of line here? Have concepts of charity and philanthropy become so antiquated that there is no longer even a pretense of the donation being a gift?
I'd put phrase it more like, "Nonprofit organizations are supposed to be the vehicle by which a COMMUNITY achieves the goals that are socially important to it."
If a donor finds that particular nonprofit is doing work that he/she/they/it believes in, they should support that nonprofit.
But when the donor becomes the focus, nonprofits drift from their missions and only chase the money. Program decisions are made, not based on what is most needed or most effective, but based on the question, "What's fundable?"
Donors need to actually trust the professionals within nonprofits to know how to best achieve their mission. If donors don't trust nonprofits, they should simply invest their money elsewhere.
Your notion that nonprofits are "a handful of grandiose people [exercising] their social aims with other people's money" is simply insulting and only demonstrates your incredible disdain for nonprofit staff.
Do donors really think that it is their place to mold nonprofits in their image and that the people who've dedicated their careers and their lives to serving their communities require such direction and babysitting from people who've never done such work?
Apparently so. Personally, I've had just about enough.