Measuring The Impact of Your Charitable Donation – Steve Solomon

In honor of Foundation Month, I wanted to share an interesting article, “How to Measure the Impact of Your Charitable Donations” from the November 2015 issue of Kiplinger magazine.  Sandra Block writes about applying “the same due diligence to giving as you would to investing.”  She states that “Supporters of effective altruism tend to favor… charities that focus on the developing world because small amounts of money can make a huge different in the lives of people who may live on less than $2 a day.”

What better organization to support than The Rotary Foundation which truly does work in your community and around the world.  When you contribute to The Rotary Foundation, you are supporting the programs and projects identified, developed and managed by your fellow Rotarians all over the world.  Your gifts help Rotarians just like you to better their communities.   The Rotary Foundation is unique since we inspire our members to participate in both giving and being involved with our projects.

Block writes, “Focus on impact, not overhead. Charity watchdog groups often rate organizations based on the amount they spend on administrative costs versus programs. That seems logical: Donors don’t want their money used to pay for excessive salaries and plush offices.”  Rotary is very competitive at keeping overhead low and is in fact rated highly by charity rating services.

Earlier this year, The Rotary Foundation moved up 35 spots to 85th in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s ranking of top 400 nonprofit organizations in the United States.  “The Foundation recently earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the largest and most prestigious independent evaluator of nonprofits in the United States.”   (“Foundation earns top honors, March 2015, page 47)
In fiscal year 2013-14, only 2 percent of Foundation expenditures went to administrative expenses and 6 percent to fundraising.  The Foundation directed 92 percent of its spending to programs, far exceeding the benchmarks that independent charity-rating services view as a measure of high efficiency.”  (2013-14 Annual Report page 27).

Financial Resources

learn why Rotary is an organization you can trust and support in confidence

Financials: Website  |  Five-Year Financial Results  |  Budget  |  Tax Form 990

Reports: Financial  |  Annual Report  |  Fact Card  |  Endowment Fund Report

Investment: Information | Historical Returns | Philosophy | Treasurer’s Report

Block writes, “Overhead is only one of several measures that Charity Navigator, the largest watchdog site, uses to evaluate a charity, says chief executive Michael Thatcher. A planned update of the site’s rating system will include a way to quantify whether a charity gets results.”

Our annual report and financial reports offer opportunities for us to be open about our spending, and to show you what we can achieve together.  “In fiscal year 2013-14, only 2 percent of Foundation expenditures went to administrative expenses and 6 percent to fundraising. The Foundation directed 92 percent of its spending to programs, far exceeding the benchmarks that independent charity-rating services view as a measure of high efficiency.” (2013-14 Annual Report page 27).

“Give generously to create a better world” is what Knight Kiplinger suggests in his article “Eight Keys to Financial Security.”  Kiplinger writes, “Your own financial security depends far more than you may think on the financial, physical and spiritual health of others in your community, our nation, our world. When you share your good fortune by donating your money, time and talent to charity, you help create a stronger economy and a healthier, safer world.”

Related Articles

“How to Measure the Impact of your Charitable Donations” [Kiplinger magazine, November 2015, pages 11-12]

“Eight Keys to Financial Security” [Kiplinger magazine, December 2008]

“Foundation earns top honors” [The Rotarian magazine, March 2015, pages 47-49]

“The Rotary Foundation Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating” [Rotary website]

“Charity Navigator Letter” [from President & Chief Executive Officer at Charity Navigator]

“The Overhead Myth Letter” [from Better Business Bureau, Guide Star & Charity Navigator]

“The Rotarian Conversation with Dan Pallotta: Should nonprofits spend like for-profits?” [The Rotarian magazine, April 2015, pages 34-37]

Make your gift to The Rotary Foundation today!  Happy Foundation Month!

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Author: Aaron Fritz

Joined Rotary in 1999. Past President of the Highlands Ranch Rotary Club, Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Castle Pines, Past President of the Rotary eClub of Arizona, and current Assistant Governor for District 5490. Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. 2nd Generation Rotarian.

1 thought on “Measuring The Impact of Your Charitable Donation – Steve Solomon”

  1. Locally, regionally or internationally, Rotary is a wonderful value when making donation dollars count. I particularly visiting clubs who joyfully fill a bucket with “happy bucks!”

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