The Chronicle of Philanthropy posted a blog http://philanthropy.com/blogs/prospecting/apple-co-founder-steve-wozniak-gives-with-no-strings/33601 Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Gives With No Strings.
As soon as I saw the name Steve Wozniak, I had to read more. Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple and I have an insatiable curiosity of exploring Steve Job’s success. You may assume correctly that I have read his biography by Walter Isaacson. If you have read the book you already know Wozniak’s slant on sharing. If not, I’ll just say this. He wanted to give away for free the programming knowledge/secrets that were the underpinnings of Apples’ great products way back in the beginning. Jobs thought differently. I didn’t say better I said differently.
Wozniak’s comment at an appearance at the AFP TechKnow conference, in Orlando, Fla. “I would never give a gift that has restrictions,” “I leave that to people who know more than me.” indicates a lack of financial responsibility and good stewardship of his resources and indicates a laziness in his approach to real involvement in community. It’s what I would term a lazy donation. Lazy donations do not hold nonprofits accountable. Without accountability mismanagement of funds, and lack of consequence to program failure or success could result. This does not make for improving a community. It’s near to throwing bad money after good! No pun intended.
Donors should consider a restriction list that includes answering questions such as:
1. Of the revenue coming in how much goes to administration? And how much goes to Programs/Services? Ask the nonprofit directly or Charity Navigator is a respected source to see how a non profit is ranked for revenue analysis.
2. What statistics can they provide to prove the success of the services/program that needs funding? And do they have a strategy that will include funding sustainability for the program. In other words do they expect you to keep throwing money their way year after year.
3. What contributions have non profits made to the community besides what they are selling, their program. That means outside of their gig how are they involved in community/business. It’s only fair to ask. Business are judged similarly. We comparison shop when we are buying from them. It’s well documented that people do choose to buy from a company that is socially responsible over another that is not given the products on every other level are fairly equal by comparison.
So why shouldn’t nonprofits be put to the test as well?
As an example, if two animal shelters asked for a donation and both provided similar services with the exception that one was building a park for dogs that enhanced your community and the other did not, which would you choose to give your hard earned dollars to?
It is more work for donors but in the end we’ll have stronger non profits!