Philanthropy is often confused with fundraising. Fundraising is short-term in nature while philanthropy focuses on a person’s or an organization’s relationship with and commitment to an institution. In a 1050-to 1400-word (3-4 page) paper, critically analyze the differences between fundraising and philanthropy in a human service organization (provide at least two specific differences). In your analysis, include the challenges a nonprofit manager may face in promoting philanthropy. Suggest ways to overcome these challenges. Support your work with materials from the textbooks and at least three additional academic sources. You may use any of the required or recommended articles for this course as additional academic sources.
Critical Analysis: Philanthropy
Human service organizations exist to create a better world for members of society. The organizations are nonprofit organizations that develop within a community to advance a specific cause aimed at bettering life for the members. Human service organizations are known for fundraising, such that in the minds of many people, the two are synonymous. Many associate them with events organized by such organizations to seek funds to help various groups in society to overcome their problems (Worth, 2017). They engage donors to support missions and special projects to obtain funds for their operations because they do not operate a business to gain profits. While some people might confuse fundraising for philanthropy, the two processes are different, a nonprofit manager may face numerous challenges in promoting philanthropy, which can be overcome by constituting stronger and effective boards and improving interaction and communication across the various leadership levels within the organization.
Differences between Fundraising and Philanthropy
While people might confuse philanthropy for fundraising, the two concepts are different. The all-encompassing view of philanthropy is that it involves a higher calling to improve human life compared to fundraising. Philanthropy invokes a happy feeling regarding helping people and promoting the greater good. It focuses on the long-term goal of creating relating to and committing to the organization. Conversely, fundraising is more short-focused and engages people to source money for short-term causes, which means that its impact is immediate and usually forgotten shortly after the cause is completed (Worth, 2017). Besides, fundraising seems to create a feeling of being in marketing and more about getting a deal finished immediately to move on to the next. Therefore, while philanthropy seeks to support a more significant cause and have a long term impact, fundraising is immediate and creates a short-lived effect.
When human service organizations engage in philanthropy, they make the greatest impact on society compared to when they participate in fundraising. Philanthropy creates actual social change and resolves significant social challenges affecting the target community. It creates a feeling of lasting engagement with the human service organization. Therefore, human service organizations involve active supporters who give towards its programs and initiatives in the long-term. Philanthropic activities seek to increase social capital and advance civic engagement, as well as to nurture lasting relationships to promote giving and for a higher purpose. Therefore, although philanthropy involves fundraising, the goals and the overall impacts are different. It entails adding value to the fundraising function and expectations of transparency, inclusion, and the evidence of the effect of their involvement in the human service organizations (Worth, 2017). Consequently, modern-day philanthropists desire more than simply being solicited by centralized offices to donate money of a specific cause, but to engage in activities with meaning to their lives. They are seeking the opportunity to make a real difference in society and to create a tangible impact.
Challenges Faced by Nonprofit Manager in Promoting Philanthropy
Nonprofit managers lead organizations that depend on philanthropy and similar sources of finances to advance their causes. Therefore, they face numerous challenges associated with multiple stakeholders in the operations of the organizations. They could experience issues related to the lack of adequate finances from philanthropists to conduct their activities. Besides, they could have the necessary funds, but experience challenges in decision-making regarding the utilization. For example, they might have internal conflicts regarding how and for what programs to use the finances. Disagreements between the CEO and the board are common, which creates another challenge for managers in nonprofit settings. For example, the report, Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges, reveals the level of dissatisfaction among CEOs with the performance of their boards, particularly concerning their fundraising activities (CEOs Report Alarming Level of Dissatisfaction with Boards, 2008). The situation creates significant challenges for managers in such settings to manage philanthropy activities.
Mismanagement of funds is common in environments with poor leadership, and most of the finances generated from philanthropic activities fail to reach the intended objective. For example, a lack of accountability among members of the board could lead to abuse of finances. Managers experience a challenge when they organize philanthropic activities and programs and generate funds, which ends up being misused by the board (Brest & Harvey, 2018). The challenge is a lack of transparency and accountability in the management of the human service organizations (CEOs Report Alarming Level of Dissatisfaction with Boards, 2008). Furthermore, the mismanagement of funds can diminish the morale of philanthropists who could quit giving. The problem also affects the long-term goal of lasting commitment to the organization. Consequently, managers of organizations obtain inadequate resources to continue their operations.
Suggested Solutions to Philanthropic Challenges
The solution to the problem lies in identifying its root cause. Challenges associated with philanthropic activities in nonprofit settings emerge from a lack of effective management and leadership. Thus, the most effective solution is building effective nonprofit boards. Apart from building stronger and effective boards, organizations should improve the working relationship between the managers and the boards. They can achieve the objective by improving competence, integrity, and constructive engagement within the organization. The goal is also achievable through creating new policies and regulations to guide the interactions between the two levels, such as by clearly spelling out the role of each of the two levels of management. Another aspect of the relationship are an open and transparent relationship between the managers and the board, as well we with the CEO to improve information sharing and support philanthropic activities (Board Source, n.d.). Adopting all the solutions will help to strengthen the management role in philanthropy and build strong engagement from donors.
Human service organizations play a critical role in the community because of providing social services to diverse, vulnerable groups. They engage with members of society to obtain essential resources to achieve their objectives. They engage in seeking funds from the community to ensure that they are running effectively since they do not participate in business operations to earn profits. While some people perceive their fundraising role, they fail to differentiate between the concept and philanthropy. The two concepts differ in various ways, such as the ultimate goal and the focus. For example, while fundraising focuses on short-term causes, philanthropy has a greater and long-term impact on addressing social issues and improving lives. However, the role is challenged because of the dissatisfying performance of boards. Therefore, solutions are necessary, such as constituting stronger and effective boards and improving interaction and communication within the organization. Research is critical to establish the best practice in the modern setting for the management of human service organizations to enhance the achievement of their long-term goals through philanthropic activities.
Board Source. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.boardsource.org/
Brest, P., & Harvey, H. (2018). Money well spent: A strategic plan for smart philanthropy. Stanford University Press.
CEOs report alarming level of dissatisfaction with boards. (2008, November). Nonprofit World, 26(6), 27.
Worth, M. J. (2017). Nonprofit management: Principles and practices (4th ed.). Retrieved from https://redshelf.com