Sunday, April 8, 2007

Should Charities Consider Consolidation?

According to this recent article in the New York Times the number of charitable organizations in the United States between 1994 - 2004 increased 64%.

Furthermore, according to Charity Navigator President Trent Stamp there is currently more than 700 breast cancer related charitable organizations in the United States. His blog post suggests we may all be better off with less charities focused on the same cause.

In the for-profit sector only the strong survive but it doesn't appear to be that clear cut in the not-for-profit sector. I am sure many of the 700 breast cancer causes are doing good work and probably a few things that other organizations could learn from. What if ten, twenty or fifty of those organizations merged, built a new business plan using the best practices taken from each organization and leveraged the top donors from all of the organizations to support one unified cause?

I envy those who are willing to pour their heart and soul into a cause they believe in and start a their own non-profit but I also believe in the law of diminishing returns!

Proof About the Power of Text Messaging

I suggested in an earlier post that text messaging could be the wave of the future and apparently there is an organization called MobileActive who agrees with me and is smart enough to make it work for them!

If I told you five years ago that 65 million votes would be cast via text message during the season finale of American Idol would you have believed me then?

Winner Gets $25 Million...Do I Have Your Attention?

Richard Branson has come a long way from being an eccentric billionaire who spent millions trying to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon to the man putting his money where his mouth is to "cure" global warming.

Branson has put up $25 million of his own money to be awarded to whoever can create a technology to remove one billion tons of greenhouse gases per year over the next ten years. I don't know enough to judge just how lofty a goal that is, but for $25 million it shouldn't be easy and I imagine he got the attention of many with kind of cash!

Branson may be a wacky guy but no one can argue his business acumen. To me, this is a great example of what to do for marketers, nonprofits, etc. Branson set forth one goal, not two, etc...eliminate lots of greehouse gases, you win and the concept has gotten lots of attention. All non-profits would benefit greatly if they would follow a similar strategy. Find out what it is that you do better than anyone else in your city, state or the world and make that your concise case for giving. When I decide who gets my money the winner will be the one who does what I care about most better than anybody else rather than the guy who does a lot of different things pretty well.