Yes, But Are You Making a Difference?

I retweeted this blog by Dan Pallotta today, but it deserves to be shared again. An excerpt from Dan:

"... We've been telling the donating public that good charities have low overhead, and bad charities have high overhead. Well, I don't know about you, but when I hear "good," I think, "makes a difference." So, if you tell me the good charities have low overhead, then I don't need to know whether the money I give makes a difference. If they have low overhead, I can assume that they do!The Nonprofit Overhead Cost Project at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy came to the opposite conclusion . Their report, entitled, "GETTING WHAT WE PAY FOR: LOW OVERHEAD LIMITS NONPROFIT EFFECTIVENESS," indicates that the charities that spend less on capacity tend to have inferior programs. The donating public might want to know that, don't you think?

We have, as a result of our timidity, managed to confuse a well-intentioned public into basing their giving decisions on the wrong data. That's not what they want. And if they knew that's what we've been up to they'd be pissed ..."

Read the whole thing and let us know what you think.