Debate

New report: Give the donors more

Many non-profit organizations lack transparency and only 7% of those who donate to charity have a high level of confidence that the money will come, according to a new report from Charity Rating. The organization's operations manager Gerda Larsson calls for improvements.

Transparency varies greatly between different Swedish non-profit organizations. Only 61 organizations receive a green rating in transparency according to the Donor Guide's screening of 217 non-profit organizations' websites. The non-profit sector is dependent on public trust and spends large sums every year on PR consultants and advertising for the attention of a few donors. But if we want to increase the giving, why not give the donor more?

According to FRII's report “Financing of Non-profit Activities - conditions, reality and future” from 2014, 2 out of 3 Swedes donate money to non-profit organizations. Only 7% of those who donate have a high level of confidence that the money will arrive and 14% are weak or lack confidence. During our review, the organizations are contacted several times, but only 50% choose to answer our questions or verify their grades. The majority of the organizations that have chosen to engage in dialogue with the Donor Guide are positive to our annual review, but several have, despite repeated contact, still not published the annual report or information about the board's background and previous experience on their website.

The donor guide's review focuses on three areas; the democratic structure of the organization, the internal and external control of financial documents and the transparency towards the donor. Prior to this year's review, our assessment system was tightened with the aim of increasing the openness and transparency in the sector, this has led to a certain deterioration in this year's grades. Nevertheless, we find it most worrying that only 5 of the 20 largest organizations in Sweden achieve the highest rating in our review.

After almost 10 years as a reviewer of the non-profit sector, the Donor Guide has witnessed a positive development in terms of the organizations' transparency and communication towards donors. We believe that a trust-inspiring sector is a transparent and communicative sector. A sector where donors can get answers to their questions and easily be able to obtain information about an organization. We challenge the sector to show by next year that they want and can be transparent towards their donors!

Read the whole report on our website.

Gerda Larsson

Operations manager at Charity Rating, the organization behind the Donor Guide

This is a debate article. The author is responsible for analysis and opinions in the text.

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