Using Data to Inform Donor Decisions: Reflections from GuideStar President

By Henry Berman, Exponent Philanthropy

How does your foundation decide which organizations to fund?

“I think increasingly our decisions are going to focus on capabilities,” said Bob Ottenhoff, president of GuideStar, in Exponent Philanthropy’s newest podcast Reflections: 10 Years in the Nonprofit Sector.

Do you agree? Disagree?

Bob went on to comment on how donors might inquire about nonprofit capabilities:

“Are you really capable, nonprofit organization, of doing what you say you want to do? Because I, as a donor, have certain expectations and…  I really want to make an impact on this cause, and so I’m looking for partners, nonprofit partners, who can help me make a difference in this area. And so I want to make sure that if you’re going to be my partner, nonprofit organization, you can really deliver.”

So that means learning a little bit more about the board, learning a little bit more about the management expertise, learning about the programs of the organization, learning about how they’re doing. How are they doing in achieving those goals?

Download the free podcast from the Exponent Philanthropy Store. You’ll also find a two-part conversation with Tom Tierney, co-author with Joel Fleishman of Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results.

Take a listen. Let us hear what you think.

Henry Berman

Henry Berman became Exponent Philanthropy’s CEO in 2011, previously serving as acting CEO, board member, and committee member. Through his experience as a foundation co-trustee and Exponent Philanthropy member since 2003, he brings a firsthand understanding of the needs of Exponent Philanthropy members to his role. Berman’s early career included positions as an independent communications consultant and director, writer, and producer of film, video, and multimedia programs for education, motivation, and fundraising.

2 thoughts on “Using Data to Inform Donor Decisions: Reflections from GuideStar President

  1. Pingback: Community Foundation’s Terri Lee Freeman: Fight inequity with investments in three areas [News, 5.22.12] « Washington Grantmakers Daily

  2. Pingback: My podcast about how foundations can increase impact | GuideStar Blog

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