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December 20, 2013 4:21 pm

“ŽThree Questions Non-Profits Should be Ready to Answer “Ž

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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A Red Cross tent. Photo: Rudolf Ammann

People may not necessarily be getting smarter, but they are getting warier, and better informed. At least in some respects. The Internet has become a clearinghouse for the “truth” about various charities, and non-profit organizations. Donors ask more questions than ever, and the answers to these questions are determining their giving practices.

Organizations who struggle to answer the following questions will surely be affected:

One: Where does the money go? This is the most common question charities are accustomed to answering. But many donors have no idea what the proper answer to that question should be. Every organization has overhead, but how much, and what percentage of the organization’s income is that? Today, donors have a better idea, and charities are held more accountable and to higher standards. The more transparency, the better.

Two: What are the results? With all the choices out there, more and more people are asking about results. They want to see – or, more accurately, experience – the results of their donations. This is where good records and strong multimedia productions come into play. You need to be able to share real, tangible results. And this works best when you can SHOW them to people.

Three: What are your plans for the future? Having no articulated plan for tomorrow is not positive. People like to give for the future. If they want to continue investing, what will that money buy? You need to have an answer. A good one.

As a PR firm owner engaged with multiple non-profit organizations, these questions may appear basic – but countless organizations fail each year because they don’t take the time to properly address them.

Ronn Torossian, is CEO of 5WPR, and founder of the Ronn Torossian Foundation.

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