Are Measures of Charity “Effectiveness” Measuring the Right Things?
|November 15, 2010||Posted by M. P. under Management, Philanthropy||
In the post Our Ineffectiveness at Measuring Effectiveness, Dan Pollatta, at the Harvard Business Review blog page, suggests that the push for empirical evidence of charity “effectiveness” or the power of your donation may be missing the mark. While the intentions are good and the cause noble, the methods utilized to rank an organization as effective (versus less effective or outright ineffective) are underdeveloped, at best.
Pollatta points out that the best indicators to determine effectiveness of an organization are often ignored; that the number of charities examined by the watchdogs are less than 2% of those operating and that a nonprofit’s operating story is pushed aside for simplistic rankings – a number of stars, for example.
Accountability is of utmost importance where charitable giving is concerned. However, high-quality measurements and substance should not take a back seat to generalizations and – dare I say – theater. To do so, would not benefit either the charities or the giving public well. Mr. Pollatta raises a number of excellent reasons to rethink how we define and subsequently measure the notion of organizational effectiveness and donor-worthiness.