Looking to make their giving more effective, more donors are asking charities to produce a “return on investment”. In other words, donors are beginning to take their giving as seriously as their investments, expecting to see results from the dollars given. This might mean giving gifts that reproduce themselves by helping jump start a new revenue stream for a ministry–such as a job training project with a storefront application. Or it could be a gift to an outreach ministry that trains and equips local leaders to reach, train, and equip new leaders.
Charities are noticing this shift in giving priorities. A Reuters article published last month notes, “‘What we see as a trend is more engaged philanthropists that are setting the bar higher and higher for themselves and the organizations they support,’ [a ministry leader] told Reuters. “Such donor interest pushes groups to operate more effectively, expand their impact and come up with ways of measuring their success.” (Read the full article here.)
If you’re a ministry, what are doing to measure and communicate your ROI ? If you’re a giver, how would your giving patterns change if you viewed your donations as creating a partnership with the organizations to whom you give?