Greater Kansas City Community Foundation: Helping Donors Make a Difference

Source: Bridgespan

Date: 2005

"Charity begins at home." The old saying rings true for many benefactors who choose to direct funds to their communities, where their donations can make a visible difference to local organizations. But where will a donor's charitable dollars make the greatest difference? What are the community's most critical needs? And which of its organizations address those needs most effectively? Traditionally, many wealthy Americans dealt with these questions by donating funds to their local community foundations, entrusting foundation staff to put their dollars to the best use. However, the enormous appeal of donor advised funds has led a growing number of community foundations to offer this option to their donors. The result is often a huge rise in the flow of charitable dollars into their communities. What is less clear is how donor-advised funds have affected the overall impact of those new dollars. Are there ways to improve the odds that these increases in charitable giving will be matched by increases in impact? The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation joined forces with the Bridgespan Group to address this question. Ultimately, the answer led GKCCF to develop a new measurement system that enables donors to assess and compare the performance of area nonprofits in fields ranging from social services to the arts. In addition, the system is proving to be a valuable tool for local nonprofit executives and board members who are using it as a platform for improving their organizations.

Link: Greater Kansas City Community Foundation: Helping Donors Make a Difference

Keyword: Evaluation Partnership Strategy

Region: Northern America