St. Louis, Mo., August 26, 2011 – Charity leaders can demonstrate their effectiveness by focusing on the outcomes they seek and showing their progress in meeting them, speakers at the Better Business Bureau's ninth annual Charity Symposium told a crowd of more than 130 Thursday at the Chase Park Plaza.
“We have to be outcome-oriented in this sector,” said keynote speaker Doug Bauer, executive director of The Clark Foundation of New York.
Nonprofits must be “brutally honest” about their ability to meet society’s needs, Bauer said. They need to look for ways they can collaborate or partner with other nonprofits. Partnerships should be formed long before a nonprofit is floundering. They should be seen as an opportunity to expand services and pare costs rather than a solution to problems.
Charles Gasper, director of evaluation for the Missouri Foundation for Health, said nonprofits and their boards should spend time re-examining why they are doing a project and what outcome they are seeking. Only then can they measure their effectiveness and communicate that to their donors, grant-makers and the public at large.
Jack Galmiche, president and CEO of the Nine Network of Public Media, said the public television station has reorganized and refocused after undergoing an evaluation with Gasper’s help. Instead of one television station, the organization now includes four digital channels, including a 24-hour children’s channel; a Create channel devoted to food, home improvement, arts and travel; and a channel devoted to “engaged adults.”
The Nine Network also includes training in digital story-telling for the public and the nonprofit community, a public engagement effort and many other projects aimed at addressing problems of the community and the nation.
Justin Gioia, past chairman of the BBB Charity Information Service, also introduced Charting Impact, a joint effort of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA and Independent Sector. By asking nonprofits to answer five deceptively simple questions, Charting Impact encourages nonprofits to think strategically about becoming more effective. More information is available at chartingimpact.org .
Gioia and the other speakers also stressed the importance of nonprofits becoming a BBB Accredited Charity, a status that demonstrates the organization’s compliance with the BBB’s 20 Standards of Charity Accountability. Accredited Charities also must sign a license agreement with the BBB.
For more information on the Charity Information Service or to check out a charity online, go to stlouis.bbb.org/charity or call 314-645-3300.
Contacts: Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jim Judge, Director of Charity Review, 314-584-6735, email@example.com