Good and Bad in Charity Funding

Milk, Nicolas Cage’s acting; mugs saving trees or cups saving wash water; bottled water — good or bad?

Good:

Unrestricted funding.

Ice Buckets/Challenges (unless you’re Charity:Water. Then bad.)

Matching gifts.

Nihil Pro Quo.

Public funding.

Multi-year gifts.

Endowments that cover >20% of the organization’s annual budget.

In-kind gifts that are already in the budget.

Thousands of low-level donors.

Dozens of high-level donors.

100% of trustees/board members donate.

100% of trustees/board members donate one of the 3 highest gifts they give all year.

100% of employees want to at least donate $1.

Bad:

Funding restricted to programs unsupported by the mission.

Funding restricted to vanity projects.

Quid pro quo.

Corporations choosing charities via popularity contests/computer click-offs.

Large donations that overly entitle either donor or recipient.

Endowments that cover <20% of the organization’s annual budget.

Panicky, deleterious “Going-Out-Of-Business-Unless-We-Raise-Millions-By-Tuesday” funding schemes.

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