It’s a rhetorical question. The answer is posted on the websites of Australia’s largest charities, on the FAQ pages, celebrated in Annual Reports and supporter Welcome Packs and repeated by Board directors and CEOs.
I’ve shared this Infographic of Infographics before and it’s almost 12 months old. I hope that by re-positing it I can encourage broader conversation. Please join the discussion.
There are Two Core Points which should be debated:
ONE: Most NFPs acknowledge the need to educate the Public & influence perception of the cost of fundraising. YET, the largest charities in Australia continue to pretend it’s an important measure of effectiveness.
TWO: Large NFPs will always experience a lower cost of fundraising for many reasons:
Well-known charities enjoy greater public awareness and therefore need to spend less on communicating what they do and why they do it, not to mention brand and awareness and supporter acquisition
Charities with valuable brands are favoured by Corporates & Foundations because they represent a greater opportunity
Popular charities attract more-qualified staff and volunteers (see this incredible example of mis-information from St Vincent de Paul)
They are front of mind when individuals amend their Wills, when solicitors advise on bequests or are considered by Funeral Directors as in memoriam beneficiaries
Many benefit from their partners overseas, by utilising research and existing communications and strategy materials – reducing the requirement for consultancies with prohibitively high fixed costs.
There are many other reasons a large non-profit can express its administration and fundraising expenditure in a more positive light than a small organisation.
Which of Australia’s largest organisations will change the conversation?
When we next discuss public perception as a sector, will the most effective fundraising organisations review their own communication practices?
How will sector leaders support their peers to disregard ambiguous, misleading metrics in favour for measuring & communicating Outcomes, Impacts, and real Change?