Let Freedom (From Overhead Obsession) Ring!

Even though we’ve not officially celebrated with Independence Day fireworks yet (tell this to the kids in my neighborhood!), some fireworks in the nonprofit sector have begun thanks to an open letter from GuideStar, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator.  The CEOs of the nation’s three leading nonprofit information providers recently came together to persuade donors to look beyond overhead when deciding which charities to support and it’s bringing much needed attention to what’s being called the “overhead myth.”  I’ve blogged about overhead issues before, so it’s fair to say I’m thrilled to see these groups encouraging donors to recognize that overhead alone is no way to measure a charity’s performance.  The letter itself is exciting, but the big three even go on to suggest that charities should invest in overhead to improve their efficiency!  It’s like a nonprofit independence day – a step toward freedom from this obsession!

For eleven years, KNN has focused on providing nonprofits with affordable and accessible tools that encourage transparency, good governance and stewardship of donor dollars.   This letter and the discussion it’s prompted provides our nonprofit community with an important opportunity to end the Overhead Myth once and for all.  To really make this happen,  it’s critical for each of us to build on the momentum:  sign the pledge (right now, please) and share it with donors, boards and nonprofit peers (there’s a link on the site that makes this very easy)!

As of this morning, over 2000 people from across the nation had signed the pledge, so we’ve got some work to do – each pledge means another informed donor.  Please join me – let’s end the overhead myth and encourage our donors to support investments in our sustainability and success.  As the letter says so well:  The people and communities served by charities don’t need low overhead, they need high performance.    

Here are a few resources you might share:

The Overhead Myth

Why Can’t We Get Over Overhead?

New Study: Low Nonprofit Overhead Does Not =  Greater Efficiency

How a Focus on Low Overhead Caused This Nonprofit to Shut Its Doors

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

Sincerely,

DC headshot 2013

Danielle Clore

Executive Director

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