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Volunteer Program Evaluation Series

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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

  BOARDS AND COMMITTEES: They are volunteers, too!
Look here for infomation and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ May 2003 ~ Topic

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Does Your Organization Do What It Says It is Doing?

Last month we gave some criteria for an ethical nonprofit. The first criterion listed was, “Does your organization do what it says it is doing?” How do you evaluate that?

Here are some ways:

Do your programs relate directly to your mission statement?

Do you reevaluate your mission statement annually to make sure it is a clear statement of what you are doing?

Do you change your mission statement if you find it is not accurate or not a statement of the most important things your organization should be doing?

Do you analyze potential grant opportunities from government, corporations or foundations to make sure they are in line with your mission rather than applying for them simply because there is money available?

Does your organization spend at least 65% of its funds on program activities that carry out your mission?

If you tell someone their contribution will go to a specific program, does it? Don’t say, “your dollar goes to feed the hungry” if it doesn’t.

Is your fundraising and marketing literature honest? Don’t show pictures of a constituency or say things that aren’t what you really focus on just because someone says they will attract more funds.

Do you keep fundraising costs to a reasonable minimum that you would be comfortable explaining publicly?


Other ideas are always welcome! You can email me at Jeannebrad@aol.com.

Interested in more information on boards? Check out our online bookstore for: The Board Member’s Guide: A Beneficial Bestiary. In the Show field, select Jeanne Bradner from the list and click the Show button to view this book as well as other titles by the author. Board Member's Guide Book Image Board Member's Guide Image

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Other good sources on ethics:

Other good sources for information on boards and committees:

Jeanne H. Bradner
Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, Passionate Volunteerism, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

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