In the past couple of years, transparency has been a much bandied about term in the philanthropic sector. What it means, why it's important, how it can be implemented have all been discussed at length by theorists and practitioners alike. But now, Guidestar has come out with a publication stating just exactly how NOT transparent nonprofits still are.
The thing about transparency, especially right now in our present economic climate, is that it helps inspire confidence and trust in an organization. Donors want to know where there money goes once it leaves their checkbooks. Donors also want to know that they aren't giving money to a sinking ship. Refusing to be transparent can and may be taken as a sign that there is something to hide, that if a people knew what was really going on with an organization, they would never support it financially. Well, guess what folks, are they really supporting you financially now? So what have you got to lose by opening up and trying to build relationships based on trust?
Hat tip to Katya's Non-Profit Marketing Blog for the heads-up re: the new study.