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Create a measurement that is a proponent of the cause.

Humans need relativity. The measure in the for-profit world is...profit. We get it. The recent-ish measurement in the non-profit world is overhead. The overhead measurement is the only easy measurement thrown out there and it's understood as a measure of bad. Establish a hugely adopted and easily understood measure of good to rival profit and it will be a game changer.

Topics: philanthropy
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    Mar 12 2013: Every year I go to "charitynavigator.org" to track my preferred charities' performances and purposes. (Sometimes changes are dramatic).

    I will continue to base my donations on how little is spent on overhead. If a charity can't get a volunteer base, and directors need salaries or other monetary rewards, and paid staff, and telemarketers, and paid outside advisers, I don't trust them to use my funds wisely. I am NOT interested in providing jobs or opportunities for the already well-placed. I am interested in helping those that the charity professes to want to help - whatever that charity is.

    I am far more interested in supporting an empassioned group of volunteers - even if I don't get a tax credit for it - than I am in supporting the scam that too many charities have become.

    My husband used to support, with both time and dollars, a major charity that had 6% overhead. It all sounded OK until I delved into the financial statements and saw that the reason for this is that the charity operates like a giant corporation. It gives money to sub-charities that have their own boards of directors, director, staffing, and building expenses. These other charities give to other charities - both up and down the chain - so that funds can appear on the financial statement as going to the causes they stand for rather than for operational expenses. It turned out that the money that actually went to his intended target appeared to be less than 5%.

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