News for Nonprofits: Fall 2022

Fundraisers seek protection with “bill of rights”

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), which previously developed a “Donor Bill of Rights,” is now looking inward to protect their members’ own “physical, mental and emotional wellbeing” on the job. A recent AFP survey found that nearly a quarter of fundraisers have experienced sexual coercion, meaning pressure from an employer to make themselves vulnerable to sexual harassment to secure gifts. And 76% have experienced sexual harassment.

The organization has responded by forming a task force to draft a fundraiser bill of rights. The document will address issues such as bullying and harassment, racial and gender equity, accessibility and “donor dominance.” The task force plans to hold listening sessions with members to solicit input. It also will conduct a survey after a draft is developed to collect feedback before seeking ratification and endorsement.

What are nonprofit funders’ top considerations?

A survey from software company Social Solutions reveals how foundations, charitable trusts and corporate giving programs make funding decisions. Among other things, the survey found that the top three factors when considering whether to fund an organization are mission (cited by 51% of respondents), legal nonprofit status (46%) and impact (46%). In 2017, the top three were impact (98%), mission (49%) and legal nonprofit status (37%).

When it comes to measuring impact, outcomes reign supreme, followed by consistency to mission and detailed data. Outcomes were the preferred metric in 2017, too. The funder respondents also indicated their preferred reporting format when assessing an organization’s impact. In 2017, funders preferred impact stories (25%), paper (14%) and spreadsheets (12%). Top scores in 2022 went to dashboards/portals (27%) and spreadsheets (22%), followed by stories (14%). These results demonstrate a significant preference for digital and data-based reporting.

Study finds mixed message on DEI importance

Almost 40% of donors say that learning a charity they support doesn’t have fair representation of their personal demographics on its board and staff wouldn’t influence their giving. That’s according to a survey of more than 3,100 adults in North America by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

But it would be a mistake to think donors aren’t concerned about diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) issues. For example, 41% say they wouldn’t donate to a charity they previously supported after learning it tolerates discrimination. And 34% wouldn’t donate to charities that use culturally insensitive images and language. Younger respondents, people of color and LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely to report hearing about a specific organization having a lack of DEI. They also were more likely to have positive associations toward a charity with a diverse, equitable and inclusive board and staff.

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