Make sure the charity's statement of its Mission, Solicitations, and Resource Allocation are Simpatico. Make sure the charity is meeting or surpassing the claims it makes throughout its sales material and various touch points. Take an inquisitive approach to ensure the charity's written and verbal claims correspond with general “truth in advertising” standards; The content that fills their marketing materials should essentially match their actions. Are there verifiable instances and or overwhelming proof that the charity is in-deed allocating the donated funds and staff time that parallels with what their mission states? Are they allotting their time accordingly and able to prove their actual efforts are synced what they promote they are doing.
On the form 990, Part III: Statement of Program Service Accomplishments, charities should accurately report their biggest programs and a breakdown of all the resulting funding that is directed toward them. It is up to you to figure out if the charity’s stated funding allocation is in step with what the charity claims made on their web site and brochures.
It doesn’t take an expert to decipher if the charity is correctly touting its achievement and using simple logic to reach its claimed results. Is there a straight forward approach the charity uses to aptly explain the issues or problems the charity is focused on? Are they offering simple understandable steps in laymen terms that they are taking to make a difference and how exactly it is being done?
Keep your questions simple because the answers should be simple and clear. A few questions to consider…. Is the charity’s stated path to results making sense and are they reasonable to you? Do they provide enough evidence or examples that shows that their selected approach is achieving results you expect? Seek out the data, which should be easily accessible and then it should demonstrates succinctly that their approaches including data collection are working?
More common sense topics to consider in our next post….
Scott Davis former Oakland Raider produces a charity guide blog and website other social sites that focus on the Oakland Raiders and Business Marketing