Monday, October 27, 2008

A Call for Shelter in the Economic Storm

Check out the Star Tribune op-ed from Rich Cowles, executive director of the Charities Review Council, about charitable giving during the economic storm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Charities Meet Accountability Standards: Congratulations

Congratulations to the following charities that recently completed their Accountability Wizard reviews and have met the Council's Standards of Accountability.

Metropolitan Economic Development Association

Minnesota Adoption Resource Network

Friday, October 10, 2008

Should Charities Accept Off Loaded Petters Donations?

Guest Blogger: Helen Ng, Marketing & Communications

Politicians are scrambling to unload political contributions by Tom Petters, a Twin Cities businessman accused of high-level fraud, by donating the money to charities. Should charities accept the money?

The money has to go somewhere, and Petters will in no way benefit from a charity accepting it. On the other hand, could accepting this money bring a negative backlash in terms of the public’s perception of how charities are run?

Are there unwanted implications attached to accepting donations from a political campaign? Is this money tainted because of its origin, or is it OK to put it to good use, improving our communities?

This economic crisis has many nonprofits hunkering down for a tough road ahead. What would you want your favorite charity to do in this situation?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Confessions of a Temporary Non-Giver

Guest Blogger: Amy Sinykin, Special Projects & Operations

I’ve been feeling some stress and guilt lately. You see, I have had a “bill” or a pledge reminder from a charityilike to which I pledged earlier this year. In fact, I’m pretty sure the reminder I have is the third one. Clearly, I’ve been remiss in paying my pledge. And, it’s not because I don’t want to give to charityilike. But, due to some family circumstances, my family isn’t in a position to pay the gift in full as originally intended. I’ve been frozen into inaction because of guilt. Ack.

Then just yesterday, as I sorted through the mail, I was reminded by charityialsolike about our monthly contribution. Ironically, the full amount of our gifts for charityilike and charityialsolike are equal. The gift to charityialsolike is guilt-free and pretty painless in our current situation. I thought, “Duh? Why didn’t I think of that earlier?” Instead of inaction in paying my pledge, I can call and let them know it will be paid differently, on a monthly schedule.

Anyone else feeling silly for me?

Giving is important to me and my family. It’s something we want to teach our children; its something I really don’t want to give up doing. As we weather this time of financial uncertainty, I don’ t need the added discomfort of feeling guilty for not giving. (I can manage enough guilt during normal day-to-day operations.)

Whew…see that flying over there? That’s my guilt lifting off my shoulders… and it’s that general feeling of lightness that I enjoy when I am able to give.