Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Can’t We Get Over Overhead? - NPQ - Nonprofit Quarterly

Why Can’t We Get Over Overhead? - NPQ - Nonprofit Quarterly: hat slapping noise you hear every holiday season is the sound of philanthropic experts briskly applying palms to foreheads as they watch the perky nightly-news broadcaster reminding viewers to be generous, but to give only to groups that spend far more on programs than on overhead.

The program/overhead distinction, though denigrated for years by the most articulate and determined nonprofit professionals, simply refuses to die. Somehow, the general public doesn’t want to let go of it.

Why not? Will the simple-minded rubes whose donations constitute the overwhelming majority of charitable giving in America ever realize that it’s a meaningless if not downright pernicious distinction? Will they finally turn instead for giving guidance to the shiny new outcomes metrics upon which our experts have been beavering away?

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