By Roxie Jerde
So here gathered on the shores of the Potomac River are a few thousand folks from the world of foundations hoping they will be inspired to bring fresh perspectives and learning to their work all over the county. As I talked with a fellow attendee on the Super Shuttle ride from Dulles, she shared with me the family foundation she works for is a mix of check writers for favorite nonprofits and a few folks with a strategic focus. As I asked what type of information she relies on to know which nonprofits are achieving results, she said they know the Executive Director and the agencies well so they “know the answer”. Coming straight from the heartland, having left Kansas City, Missouri early this morning, I shared with her how we do our work in Kansas City.
So just what is our “work”? At the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, we are striving to make greater Kansas City a better place by bringing more people into philanthropy to invest in effective nonprofits and lead on critical community issues. So how do we do that? Having quality and timely data on the nonprofits in our community is critical to our working with donors, whether they are a making a $25 or a $25 million investment. So where do we get quality and timely data on our what local nonprofits are achieving to better educate our donors? The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation created DonorEdge to do just that…give donors an edge in making smart philanthropic investments.
What started in Kansas City is now in five other communities… the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Greater Houston Community Foundation, the Columbus Foundation, the Foundation for Enhancing Communities (Harrisburg, PA) and the Community Foundation of Central Florida. And tonight we talked with over 40 people from across the country at the GuideStar DonorEdge reception who are interested in how they can better serve their donors. We were asked how do we respond to a donor who wants to know who is doing inner city tennis programs, who is getting the best results in early childhood programming, who is doing innovative work for the aging in palliative care?? Thanks to DonorEdge, an extensive online database of nonprofit effectiveness and capacity indicators, in six communities we can answer these questions.
GuideStar is becoming our technology partner which marries the national presence and data of GuideStar with the local, “street on the feet” knowledge community foundations have of the local community built on trust and strong relationships. We would love to hear how you answer donor questions…..and check out www.gkccf.org for www.donoredge.org or www.givingmatters.com, or www.donorhouston.org, or www.tfec.org, or www.columbusfoundation.org to see where we go to get our answers.