July 2, 2010

Charities mimic Wall Street to woo wealthy donors

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:54 pm by philanthropynews

Charities are learning to mimic for-profit companies as a way to woo wealthy donors who see philanthropy as more than just a tax break and demand social returns on their investments, experts say.

Just speaking the language of Wall Street can make all the difference, said Cheryl Dorsey, president of non-profit Echoing Green, which awards start-up capital to social entrepreneurs.

“I marvel at what these Wall Street guys are giving us money to do,” Dorsey told a panel discussion at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. “If we framed it in traditional social justice terms, they would run from us.”

But using traditional business terms to frame the goals, describe the impact of a nonprofit group and convince donors to fund their cause “really works,” Dorsey said.

(Read more via Reuters.)

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