Accountability and transparency in not for profits


The South Australian state government has announced that charities which receive donations will be required to account more thoroughly as to how those funds are spent.

A new Code of Practice which will be open for consultation until mid January will allow donors a 10 day cooling off period, require standardised identification for collectors, and prohibit fundraising/collecting on Easter Sunday, Good Friday or Christmas Day.

This is quite topical given the large number of comments on the report in Adelaidenow.

But, given that the higher education sector is at pains to even agree on appropriate benchmarks to measure their fundraising will this measure really provide better value for money for donors – or will small not for profits be directing their already scarce resources to even more reporting duties and administration?

Donors can already get some indication of the effectiveness of their dollar in terms of how it is spent and the ratios of administration/service delivery for some not for profits from the Good Giving Guide, so I wonder why this additional Code is necessary.

If I read it closely it does seem to focus on face to face fundraising and telephone solicitation, but it does also refer to website promotion, the need to have a license and promotion of donations on radio.

What do you think?

If you are a donor – how much information do you really want about expense ratios? Do you think it is unreasonable for charitable organisations to have to pay people to fundraise on their behalf? Does this somehow “taint” the fundraising process?

If you are a not for profit organisation and this kind of regulation were extended from South Australia to the entire country, how would this impact on your strategies to raise funds, your budgets and your ability to report?

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About ozphilanthropy

#Philanthropy. Posts by Sharon Nathani. Consultant, blogger, speaker & committee member/grantmaker @Impact100Melb. Board member Outer Urban Projects. Learning more to share with you with Philanthropy and Nonprofit studies at QUT and Masters in Social Investment & Philanthropy at Swinburne. Former Executive Officer Inner North Community Foundation.
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One Response to Accountability and transparency in not for profits

  1. Sharon says:

    just thought I would add this recent article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the debate on cost of fundraising and admin. It says ALMOST 20 cents in every dollar of the $43 billion Australians donate to their favourite charities goes on administration and publicity costs butbecause there is no Australiawide standard of reporting how the money is spent there is no standardised reporting.
    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/charity/when-charity-begins-at-work-20101204-18kqr.html

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