Juneau Nonprofits

Juneau Nonprofits

Investing in Your Community: Giving to Juneau Nonprofit Organizations

Some donors react to grant requests and support organizations they know, trusting that good things will happen with the grants they make. Some donors are charitable investors who strive to make a strategic, measurable impact on the community. Ultimately, successful charitable investments will result in positive changes on the quality of life in this community.

Three Questions to Guide Charitable Investors

What result will my dollars achieve?

What are the chances that my dollars will, in fact, achieve those results?

Is this the best possible use of my money?

The Juneau Community Foundation believes it is important, when considering a major donation, to assess whether a nonprofit’s programs are working and, if so, whether the nonprofit has the capacity to fulfill its mission using the following baseline of recommended best practices for nonprofit organizations.

Criteria Recommended Best Practice

  • Programs have measurable performance criteria and program results are favorable;
  • Operating budget revenue meets or exceeds expenses and growth in revenue exceeds the rate of inflation;
  • Income sources include a balance of three or more sources is ideal;
  • Operating reserves include a three to six months savings reserve;
  • Administrative and fundraising expense as compared to program expense at 25% or less is ideal;
  • 35% or less is permissible;
  • Senior leadership of board and staff;
  • Executive compensation is in line with overall performance, budget, staff, and size of the organization;
  • Transparency including current information regarding the organization, such as IRS Form 990 reports and audits, are accessible through GuideStar or IRS website;
  • Board meets regularly in a policy mode with meeting attendance rate 67% or greater.

Other ideas to help you identify a charitable organization you are passionate about include talking with the charity, attending board meetings, and touring its facilities. This gives you a chance to learn first-hand about the organization’s goals and challenges.