As part of our first annual rolling review of the Accountability Standards®, we recently completed an important and enlightening part of the process – the community input phase. Through surveys and focus groups, we sought out the voices of nonprofit organizations and their supporters to gain public insight into the current standards up for review this year.
The Charities Review Council’s Accountability Standards® strengthen nonprofits’ capacity to pursue their missions while providing meaningful information to the donating public in order to advance more informed philanthropy and increased impact.
The Accountability Standards® first debuted in 1998, and have since expanded from 16 to 27 standards, further addressing the many complex aspects of nonprofit governance, fundraising, financial health, and public disclosure. In January, the Council launched a new process that involves a rolling review of 5-7 of the 27 standards each year. We are committed to continuously improving, remaining on the cutting edge of nonprofit accountability, and ensuring the timeliness and relevancy of each standard.
Through the recent surveys and focus groups, we engaged donors, grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, community representatives, and academics to co-create standards reflective of our shared expectations. The collaborative commitment of both donors and nonprofits is an integral component of the success of the Standards Review project.
We received survey responses from 133 nonprofits and 99 donors, far surpassing our initial participation goals. Additionally, four focus groups were held around the state of Minnesota, engaging a total of 36 individuals. These numbers reflect the active engagement of our community in ensuring informed philanthropy and nonprofit strength.
Here at the Council, our evaluation consultant is currently finalizing the compilation and analysis of survey data and focus group feedback. With your input, comprehensive research, and expert advice, we will work with our Board of Directors and Program Committee in the coming months to revise the Standards accordingly, rolling out any changes in January 2014.
Council staff will provide webinars, resources, and one-on-one guidance for nonprofits and donors to ensure that the revised Accountability Standards are clear and easy to implement. Please contact us if you have any questions about this process.
Thank you very much to all those who took the time to provide insight and feedback regarding the Accountability Standards®! We sincerely appreciate your support, experience, and expertise as we work together to ensure the Standards reflect what it takes to be a truly strong organization.