Conventional wisdom says donors do not want to provide operating support to nonprofits. But Jeff Brooks of Donor Power Blog thinks maybe donors just want some power to decide. In his post following up on Kiva’s supply & demand problem, Jeff suggests that maybe Kiva should give donor/lenders the option to provide operating support (an idea I suggested to Kiva founder Matt Flannery, but which he says he’s not interested in).
One organization that handles this well is DonorsChoose. They add an optional “fulfillment fee” of 15-25% to donors’ gifts, which donors can pay or not. As their How It Works page says:”Donors’ inclusion of the fulfillment fee is essential to the existence and success of DonorsChoose.org. Thankfully, 90% of our contributors choose to include it, and income thus earned allows us to continue our work.”
The magic that Kiva is missing out on here is giving donors the power. You just might be amazed at how open-minded, helpful, and flexible donors will be when you put the reins in their hands.