Charity ratings are something so inconsistent that highly rated charities might easily find themselves outdone in rating by unknown ones that materialize out of nowhere. Charity Water is a representative though new sample of this. The power of the online medium and ingenuity are helping brand new charities to drive their ratings sky high. A charity that may not have any rating one day might be considered as one of the top of the chart charities by the New York Times the next day and their rating would then go through the roof in no time.
As the public can be easily influenced by the charity ratings that the agents of mass media give, it is very easy for a completely new charity to grow very fast and be able to attract a wave of charitable donations to their side. For the same reason, when they become less popular with the media, their charity ratings also go down.
Directory lists of charity rating
With scepticism running quite high with charity watchdogs pinpointing charity problems such as misconduct, having exceptionally high amounts of funds spent on admin or the misappropriation of funds, charity rating directory lists are flourishing. It’s so funny that philanthropic organizations that set out to give to others are now under the eye of charity watchdogs. Philanthropy is becoming a little complicated!
Institutions like Givespot.com, Guidestar.org etc. provide comprehensive listings of charity ratings. GiveSpot 100 list is the list of the 100 highest ranking charities that is provided by Givespot.com. Another one that provides similar data is charitynavigator.com which has a list of the top ten charities as well a charity check system. Finding out charities is made easy by this. The biggest charity director of US is Guidestar.org with lots of free data on charity as well as information that can be availed for payment. Though its name gives a different impression, Better Business Bureau is a charity directory that gives a list of both commercial and non-profit ventures of USA.
With enough charity rating guides, there is no data shortage for anyone who wants to get information on the 100 top charities, but what constitutes real rating is something different. What in reality makes a charity superior has nothing much to do with its ratings. There are characteristics that make an organization, whether charity based or otherwise, stand out from the rest.
Charity Ratings and belief in the public
A YouGov poll of 2005 stated that about 56 percent of the British population did not have a considerable amount of belief even in well known global charities like Oxfam and Save the Children. Even among the charities that had a good charity rating, only about 15 percent enjoyed the public’s belief in them.
Charity Watchdog Scares are more common
Trust in charities has dropped a lot in recent times. Yet who can blame the public. Charity watchdogs tell unsettling stories of very highmanagement salaries, charities taking as much as 60% of donations for overheads with their being little left for the actually charitable giving.
Recent analyses reveal that just the cost of raising funds could amount to about’% in UK and 20% in Australia. The studies of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in USA put the amount to be about 30%. Administrative expenses are in addition to this and could be higher. Many charity givers find that this is the main problem, more so when charity giving grabs media attention as was the case in Singapore a couple of years ago. Such unwelcome focus becomes conducive to a decrease in charity giving which is quite unpleasant.
Charity ratings mystery revealed
There is practically no difference between a charity and a commercial enterprise when it comes to the question of drawing money. They way they put the money to use might be different, but the techniques they use to get that money are more or less the same.
To increase the charity rating as well as attract better flow of funds the secret can be found in a single word – attraction.
When we see a thing and might prefer to buy it, or would consider putting money in it, or creating a bond with it, we are likely to make the decision based on how enticing the whole idea is. If it is a very attractive proposition, we might instantly choose to opt for it while if it is not very enticing, we may not do it immediately.
Charity Water was exceptionally successful in getting media backing and good charity rating because of their appealing idea. The scheme of charging a good price for a bottle of charity water, and using the profits thereof for getting clean water to areas where it was not available, was a fascinating idea that appealed to all.
The factors that make Charity Water quite fascinating and promote its rating are the following.
* They have the perfect name – Charity Water that makes people easily respond to the obvious passion of the founder to the idea, and his eagerness to share it with others.
* The message and objective are clear, straightforward and singular – sell water and give water – Buy One Give One
* They focused on the solution and not the problem. This is the number one mistake that loses charities rating points lowering their charity rating in people’s minds. No one wants to feel guilty and sad. They want to feel uplifted and happy. In this case happy to know they could make a difference in the lives of others by buying a simple bottle of water.
How to instantly reduce one’s Charity Ratings
The fastest way in which a charity’s ratings would go down is when it turns itself less tempting by centring its attention on the problem. People are by and large disinclined to listen to negative things. On the contrary, most people are keen on listening to positive things that involve verve, dynamism, motivation and effort to bring in a fresh vision.
We only need to observe ourselves with our own children and experience how when our children ask us for something in a fun and lively and enthusiastic way we just want to say yes. And when they ask us for the same thing in a whinging and whining way we say no very quickly.
The ratings of a charity depend substantially on the image it projects in front of the public. With a motivating and inspiring image people will be swayed to its ideas. They will then be ready to contribute well to the cause of the charity.
Social Enterprise raises Charity Ratings and reduces Fundraising Problems
Social Enterprise is a new business pattern that evolved a few years ago. This combines trading with a social purpose. This pattern is a result of the interest of some businessmen who have social objectives but does not find the type of functioning of charitable enterprises satisfactory enough.
Many social entrepreneurs would never survive in traditional business because their ethical and moral values would always be in conflict with many of the business decisions made. Social Enterprise is a perfect arena for these very inspiring and valuable individuals who choose to use the business vehicle to effect social and global change. One of the most famous Social Entrepreneurs of course is Muhammad Yunus who was the first businessperson ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2006.
Buy1GIVE1 commonly known as B1G1 (Buy 1 Give 1), is a global organisation that is a recent entrant into the world of charitable giving. It is a perfect blend of business and valuable causes functioning at the global level. Buy1GIVE1 has so minimised its expenses of fundraising and management that it is able to give for charity all the funds collected. The institution is similar in its attributes to the online organization Kiva.org, which has been promoted by Bill Clinton; unlike conventional charities, Buy1GIVE1 involves direct giving to charities. Many people are convinced that it is a better way for contributing things and receiving richly in return.
Successful businessmen, who are searching for a chance to give back richly to the society and to provide for deserving charities, fully understand the importance and properly structured working credos of institutions like Buy1GIVE1. Every single sale is able to affect a change somewhere – not only altruistically. It has also the ability to forcefully influence things in such a way that each act becomes a unique marketing story. There is a world of difference in the way in which Buy1Give1 works and those charities which give away thousands and thousands of dollars work, because Buy1Give1 lets their customers know what the joy o f giving is. Buy1Give1 transaction-based giving is a perfectly beautiful way of giving.
Businesses like Buy1GIVE1 profile charities and it tends to be the charities or worthy causes as they call them, that are the most attractive that receive the most contributions. Intrinsically business owners understand the power of attraction and they tend to go with non-profit causes that have the best story rather than look at their direct rating. They intrinsically know that their customers will connect with a better story and not ever think about a charities rating.
Maple Muesli of Australia has allied itself with a charity called Midday Meals in India, in the city of Mumbai. As a result when a packet of muesli is bought, a needy kid is given food in Mumbai. Since a simple meal is available there at the cost of 30 US cents, Midday Meals daily manages to feed about 125,000 kids. The charity feeds these children in schools and it helps substantially in protecting children from begging and other harsh realities and abuse of street life.
Maple Muesli has familiarised the whole of Australia with the noble cause of the Midday Meals. The company has made all its customers aware of the stupendous service the charity is doing and how their money is helping it. This has made Midday Meals tremendously popular even though all they are doing is providing meals for the kids. The era of Effective Giving has dawned – that of Plain Charity Donations is disappearing at the horizon.
In a matter of a few years, changes are bound to happen in the background of the top 100 charities as more inventive and effectual ways of giving originate. The current scenario offers very few choices on how to give for a charitable purpose. All the available ones are not good enough to make a dent in the existing problems.
Other methods of Charity Ratings
Newer and varied ways of gifting things to others are rated and featured in the table given below. These are Charity Comparison Data.
We have compared and rated a few well-known and less well-known charities and Social Enterprises on areas that are important to their donors.
THE SALVATION ARMY
ROUTE TO GIVING: DIRECT GIVING
The Salvation Army is one among the most well-known 100 charities of the world – Both individuals and enterprises make contributions directly to it.
OPENNESS – B – Not sufficiently open – Plenty of money is being collected – but the results are not always completely clear.
ADVANTAGE TO BUSINESS – C – Even a single donation to Salvation Army by a business might find mention in the press.
FUNDRAISING COSTS – B – Spends millions of dollars annually to raise funds.
DONORS’ CHOICE POTENTIALS -B- For those who want to give directly, there are plenty of charities to choose from.
POTENTIAL FOR REAL GLOBAL CHANGE – C- Nothing new to offer in terms of market change.
PATH TO GIVING : MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Product (RED) is a brand licensed to collaborate with companies, and collect money for their Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in Africa
TRANSPARENCY – B – Lack of transparency – sum of money is contributed for every purchase – but result is not fully measurable.
ADVANTAGE TO BUSINESS – A – People and enterprises by and large prefer to support it as it is promoted by popular idols like Bono and Oprah. End result of marketing is not correctly available.
COSTS OF FUNDRAISING – C -Simply splurges money on advertising – it would be far better if that money is sent directly to Africa.
DONORS’ CHOICE POTENTIALS – C – Enterprises that partner with them have limited options in where their money should go – all needs are in Africa.
PROMISE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE – B – All partners of Products (RED) are huge ventures and the entire profit is spent on helping people of Africa.
THE BODY SHOP
ROUTE TO GIVING: BUSINESS TRADE & GIVING
The Body Shop engages in community trade helping Third World countries; and makes huge donations to charities from their profits.
TRANSPARENCY – B – Lack of transparency – sum of money is contributed for every purchase – but result is not fully measurable.
ADVANTAGE TO BUSINESS – A-tve – Clients are by and large happy to become part of the community trade and are encouraged to buy more – the enterprise could afford to be more visible.
EXPENSES FOR RAISING FUNDS – A – Costs are kept low – Business design is good enough to attract large contributions and further community trade.
DONOR’S CHOICE OF CHARITY – A – Enterprises are at liberty to choose where their contributions should go.
PROMISE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE – B – The potential for giving back to the community is substantial – but not everyone have the impetus and the extra energy to impel the change.
ROUTE TO GIVING: EVENT FUNDRAISING
Live Earth was a series of worldwide concerts held on 7 July 2007 that initiated a three-year campaign to combat climate change.
TRANSPARENCY – F – According to Intelligent Giving, there were big questions about accountability as to where the proceeds of ticket sales went.
MARKETING VALUE TO BUSINESS – B – Business sponsors got good coverage – but it was only a one time event and it is not easy to test and measure results.
FUNDRAISING COSTS – C – Spent millions of dollars on advertising on what some say was an unsuccessful event, which had no real goals.
DONORS’ CHOICE POTENTIALS – C – Funds were made available only to three charities.
ABILITY FOR EFFECTING A CHANGE – C – Occasions like this can be managed only yearly or may be still rarely. The earnings are mostly donated to charities that are already established.
PATH TO GIVING : SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
B1G1 is a brand licensed to collaborate with any enterprise – uniting them with any cause across the globe. A fully comprehensive model.
CANDOUR – A – By giving for particular causes, makes sure that funds go exactly for that which it is intended. Customers get information on how exactly their money has made a change – i.e. the children whom it helped, or the environmental cause it protected.
BENEFIT FOR THE BUSINESS – A+tve – Superb marketing value as a result of:
* Measurable giving * Media attraction * Good stories * Word of mouth * Repeat customers
EXPENSES FOR RAISING FUNDS – A+tve – No cost at all – B1G1 can look after a charity’s fundraising requirements which will include a good percentage of management also. All the funds that have accrued go to the cause.
DONOR’S CHOICE OF CHARITY – A – Any donor can contribute to a specific charity, or they can insist on giving to specific causes such as food, environment, or instruction.
POTENTIAL FOR REAL GLOBAL CHANGE – A – Exponential. If more businesses partner charities globally, the potential for real change is massive.
You Would Think Giving away Money Would Be No Big Deal!”
You would think that giving money is easy – pull out a wad of cash, write a cheque or punch in your credit card details. Yet, billionaires philanthropists like George Sores , have gone on the record as saying that effective giving is one of the hardest things to do. Developing nations receive billions of dollars every year and yet it often seems like nothing changes much.
People asking smarter questions will bring about the needed change. Social Entrepreneurs like Mohamed Yunis, Nobel Prize winner, creating innovative solutions to poverty and environmental issues with Micro Finance are carving the way to a new future where business initiatives, social enterprise and conscious consumerism transform our world. Initiatives like The Body Shop’s ‘Trade – Not Aid’ need to be replicated. New ideas like Buy1GIVE1 need to be embraced. The value of social enterprise needs to be recognised.
Bill Gates, when asked how one can make a difference in the world, pointed to the Internet. Kiva.org and Buy1GIVE1 (www.b1g1.com) are organisations that add value to the giver. With Kiva.org, people can receive email journal updates from the business they have sponsored. This happens with Buy1GIVE1 as well. Businesses also get the added benefit of marketing stories to tell their customers: buy a laptop with us, and we give one computer to someone who cannot afford it.
Other methods for improving your Charity Ratings
Make sure that you have an open attitude, use the laptop effectively, and keep apart a little time to observe the novel and wonderful systems of charity that are being born. These function through the internet and are mostly network based.
As of now if one is not connected with good international networks via the internet, the chances of losing out are substantial even with good charity rating, tomorrow things are bound to change – totally.
Many enterprises emerge out of thin air nowadays and grow enough in the matter of maybe three years to be sold for more than a billion dollars. This was unconceivable ten years ago, though today it has become a routine state of affairs. All these online enterprises are doing the same thing – drawing on international networks or themselves making international networks.
Buy1GIVE1 (Buy One Give One)
Buy1GIVE1 is a rather new entrant to the world of Social Enterprises and was launched in’97 by a Japanese lady called Masami Sato. Any business can avail a membership in Buy1GIVE1, and membership charges for smaller ventures will only be one dollar a day and donations can be as little as one cent on a sale. Buy1GIVE1 is in the forefront of the Buy One Give One transaction-based giving world movement. Joining hands with Buy1GIVE1 is totally uncomplicated for businesses as well as charity needs. The working pattern of Buy1GIVE1 is perfectly controlled and practical. It connects the products or services of any given business to a needy cause (Buy1GIVE1’s or their own) and after that whenever a sale is closed, it has to be recorded and the contribution percentage sent to the charity at the end of the month or end of quarter year directly or through Buy1GIVE1.
You could be losing out a lot if you are not interested in forming an association with Buy1GIVE1and not persuading your business patrons to do so. Buy1GIVE1 is a unique and brilliant organisation whose impetus as well as global impact is huge.
A new epoch in charity giving
Institutions that no one had heard about even a few months ago, are today bombarding the cyber world with booming user acceptance. People strongly prefer have a place on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, NING or TipJoy. One should also create strong bonds with companies like Buy1GIVE1, Kiva or The Present. These are the realities of the future which are imperative for sustaining and building charity ratings. Now is the chance to fashion an ideal new future.