Excellence in Giving Blog


Do Leadership Conferences Have Lasting Impact?

Are you wasting your time attending leadership development conferences?

130 years ago, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus devised several experiments to measure how fast we forget. He concluded the majority of information we hear is forgotten within one hour, and 75% disappears in a week. To be sure, his simplified conclusion doesn’t take into account varied teaching methods, experiential learning strategies, or learning styles. Not all educational strategies are created equal. But it raises the question: Do leadership conferences leave a lasting impact after a couple days of talks?

Tags: Impact, Nonprofit Evaluation, Charity Evaluation, Outcomes Measurement

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Why Christian Ministries Should Measure Results: A Response to the mantra "Aim for Faithfulness Not Results!"

“The kingdom path links success to obedience rather than outcomes.” That is the mantra from ECFA's new book The Choice: The Christ-Centered Pursuit of Kingdom Outcomes. Hoag, Rodin & Willmer have been publishing articles in multiple outlets (like OUTCOMES magazine) to push this message to faith-based nonprofits. Since Excellence in Giving clients fund many faith-based nonprofits, we care about the accuracy and consequences of this message. Unfortunately, the baby is being thrown out the door with the bath water. 

Tags: Performance Standard, Impact, Nonprofit Performance, Effective Philanthropy

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One Year Later: The Growing Success of #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday analysis represents our first-ever guest blog. Chasity Cooper, from the MPA@UNC program at UNC School of Government, explores how 2013 #GivingTuesday results compare to 2012. I, Paul Penley, have yet to find any analysis of how increased donations on #GivingTuesday may produce decreased giving at year-end (and therefore no net gain in giving), but Chasity highlights valuable year-over-year trend lines. Check out below how the new "Giving Day" has rapidly grown in just one year. Thanks for this contribution Chasity...

Tags: Online Giving Contests, Generosity, Annual Reports

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Philanthropists Are Giving Ineffectively: Review of Eric Friedman’s Book Reinventing Philanthropy

Reinventing Philanthropy gets under your skin like a dentist’s advice to floss. You know in your head you should do it but don’t always feel like taking the time.

Eric Friedman simply wants giving to be effective. What does that mean? He wants people to engage in thinking critically about the world’s greatest needs and our best solutions. He is frustrated. “Giving is too often about making the donor feel better and too infrequently about making those in need better” (12). So Friedman wants to reinvent philanthropy and make the new normal—utilitarian, issue-agnostic donors who support charities offering “the greatest help to the greatest number of people” (182).

How does Friedman motivate donors to practice high-impact philanthropy?

Tags: Strategic Giving, Problem-Solving Philanthropy, Effective Philanthropy, Charitable Giving

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Intelligent Charitable Giving: New Way to Check Nonprofit Efficiency & Effectiveness

Where can donors get answers to their questions about charity efficiency and effectiveness? Intelligent Philanthropy. Intelligent Philanthropy now publishes up-to-date answers to the most common questions donors ask.

    1. What is the impact?
    2. Growth in last 3 years?
    3. How is money spent?
    4. Is fundraising efficient?

No other online platform tackles all these important questions. Only Intelligent Philanthropy presents up-to-date nonprofit performance in one simple page. Intelligent Philanthropy still offers 160 data points about leadership, finances, strategy and impact via downloadable 2-page nonprofit Analytical Overviews for paid subscribers. However, donors who want the highlights without all the numbers and trend lines can now get what they want for free. Intelligent Philanthropy's 2013 release of nonprofit effectiveness and efficiency data finally makes it possible to give wisely without investing much time.

Tags: Strategic Giving, Charity Evaluations, Charity Evaluation, charity navigator, Guidestar, Charitable Giving, Non profit organizations

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