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Studying How to Promote an Effective Giving Culture

Studying How to Promote an Effective Giving Culture

May 25, 2018
Charlie Judy

How do you promote an effective giving culture? This is obviously a critical question for nonprofit entities, which rely on charitable giving for a large portion, if not most, of the funds needed to carry out their missions. If the group’s culture doesn’t align with its mission and strategy, it’s going to be harder to reach the goals it wants to achieve.
 
To that end, BBB Wise Giving Alliance (WGA) is teaming up with WorkXO to better understand the culture of BBB Accredited Charities. WGA and WorkXO hope to create a workplace culture archetype for groups that have been accredited to assist individual organizations in identifying how or whether they differ. Once they have the standard, the partners plan to use it to fuel content and knowledge for the broader nonprofit community.

We spoke with Art Taylor, CEO of Wise Giving Alliance, to learn more.

Aligning with the Right Culture

“It's important nowadays to know your culture because many of us are embarking on new strategies to improve our performance in many ways. It's been said many times that if you don't have the right culture, you're not going to be able to accomplish your strategy,” Taylor says.

The project is expected to be launched in June, with results available later in 2018. The ultimate goal is to help non-profits align mission and culture.

“The culture survey enables organizations to assess where they are and compare to others that have have taken the survey. More importantly leaders can identify where their strategy is perhaps hindered by culture.” he says. “Leaders can then put plans into place to adapt their cultures to what they need them to be.”

The Key to Attracting the Right Talent

An effective giving culture is also important to talent recruitment. A not-for-profit group needs to be able to attract people who are interested in, able and willing to do the work the organization needs to do. The right culture is going to act as a beacon to those individuals motivated to contribute to a greater cause — just as the wrong environment will turn them off.

“What we're trying to do is take this great work that WorkXO has done and share it more broadly with organizations that have gone through our evaluation process. So that in the end, more organizations that have demonstrated trustworthiness have a sense of  their cultures and what they need to do to change them if necessary.” Taylor says.

Keeping Pace With Competition

Competition for charitable dollars is more intense than ever. Taylor sad that in 2017, 73,000 new charities were granted tax exemption, on top of the 1.4 million already in existence in the U.S. In addition, more for-profit businesses are entering the social-good space. Nonprofits need to be innovative in order to stand out. The survey will unfold the continuum of a traditionalist organization versus a futuristic one.

“One of the attributes of a futuristic organization is that they're innovative. By having employees and others who are connected to the organization take this survey, they can understand where they are. If you intend to be innovative but you don't have an innovative culture, then you have a much steeper hill to climb in order to get the objectives that you want to achieve,” Taylor says.

“It's sort of diagnosing your culture — getting a diagnostic of where you are organizationally, so that you can address some of the problems that could lead to lagging performance.”

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