A coveted Donor Power Award goes to GlobalGiving, an organization that connects donors with specific poverty-fighting projects around the world.
GlobalGiving is one of a growing group of nonprofits that are charting the future of fundraising by putting power in the hands of donors by using the Web (two others especially worth noting are Kiva and DonorsChoose.org).
But that's not why GlobalGiving gets this Deepy Award. No, they've gone beyond: They now offer a fundraising guarantee.
This milestone was announced by GlobalGiving CEO Dennis Whittle at PhilanTopic (among other places) at Guaranteed. Period.
Here's GlobalGiving's rationale for offering a guarantee:
We ... believe that donors deserve to be treated at least as well as consumers. After all, they are trying to help improve the world with their dollars. They have the right to know how their money is being used -- and to redirect that money to a different purpose if they are not satisfied.
It's not quite the iron-clad, unconditional money-back guarantee I'd hope for -- the donor can only redirect her giving to a different GlobalGiving project, and the guarantee is only good up to $10,000 per donor, per year -- but it's a step in the right direction. It's about time we started seeing donors as deserving respect they routinely command from common retailers. And the chance to hold charities directly accountable to use their gifts wisely.
Offering a guarantee doesn't just have marketing value. Whittle correctly identifies another benefit to the organization:
A guarantee could compel us to put front and center questions of how to amplify the impact of our work, hold ourselves accountable to our partners, and ensure donor trust. Each and every day.
What's the risk to GlobalGiving? It's negligible. In the retail world -- where elaborate, conditionless guarantees (even double your money back) are normal -- guarantees are found to increase sales, and are so seldom invoked by customers that they only improve the bottom line. The occasional abuser can be dealt with as an individual.
So the question is: Who else is brave and smart enough to offer a guarantee?
(See also Nonprofit guarantee: I dare ya!)