Giving Compass' Take:

· Lindsay Louie explains that the way donors give to nonprofits affects the productivity of staff and the way they focus on work. 

· Are you giving in ways that best empower the organizations you support? How can you improve your donations to better serve those doing the work? 

· Read some tips for donors and families looking to give.

Before I began my current role as a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, I was the executive director (ED) of a nonprofit, where one of my main jobs was to fundraise. I found being an ED one of the most rewarding and most challenging jobs I’ve had.

It was the most rewarding for obvious reasons — making a positive difference in the world. But raising the budget every year through donations also made it one of the most challenging. For an organization funded by individual donations and foundation grants, the ED is responsible for meeting the budget every year. My ability to pay staff and deliver on the mission depended on raising money. Succeeding at fundraising alone is no easy task; I went to bed worried about it many nights of the year. And on top of raising those funds, I had to carefully steward them, making sound decisions about how to deploy each dollar while also handling all of the other responsibilities that come with leading an organization.

This tension is one that nonprofit leaders know all too well. It’s important that donors understand it, too. That’s why the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP’s) new report, Donors: 5 Things Nonprofits Want You to Know, is such a welcome resource. The report is a practical, essential guide for donors about how they can help minimize avoidable challenges for nonprofits, which will free up nonprofit leaders’ and staff’s mental, emotional, and physical time to focus on the work — and tackling those challenges that can’t be avoided!

Read the full article about the ways donors give by Lindsay Louie at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.