Main Street Philanthropy Week 5

It is important to see how each charity uses its money, so this week we filled out a quantitative rating sheet for our charities. After looking at other groups’ quantitative rating, it seemed that the management ratio numbers seemed a bit high. We found that there could be more than one reason for this. It could be that the charity is simply irresponsible, in which case we would not waste any more time on it. But on the other hand, it could be the sort of charity where its staff members are given the money to provide care for others. For example, it could be a children’s program where the staff are responsible for taking care of certain children and are given a larger percentage than a regular wage to help support the children. This is where the panel class comes in. It is difficult to know the true story just by looking at statistics, because what actually is going on could be much more than what a few numbers tell us. It might not be the case, but by asking questions and gathering more knowledge from the directors and executives coming to our panel classes, we can piece together the story and decide whether it would be wise to donate money to the cause. Evaluating organizations to see if they are worth an investment is proving to be difficult. In my group, I filled out two different quantitative rating sheets; one for Crossroads Program and another for Tomorrows Children’s Program. It was clear that Crossroads uses its money more wisely, while Tomorrows had its management ratio up in the 50th percentage. Weighing in their favor though, its sustainability scored a 2, which is 13-36 months while Crossroads scored a 1, which is 0-12 months. But Tomorrows Children spends its money unwisely, the numbers growing each year, meaning that its sustainability right now says the program can run for 34.87 months without funding, but that number will dramatically change over the course of a year according to the way they spend right now. As one can see, it is very difficult to choose one organization over another simply based on statistics. I look forward to the panel classes where we can interview the directors and executives of organizations to see if it is worth investing in them.

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