A story in the Washington Post about the many fundraising efforts that followed the Orlando shooting serves to remind us of the "added value" of nonprofit boards. As part of preparing the article, Associated Press staff randomly analyzed a portion of the 437 fundraisers posted on the GoFundMe website. What they learned was pretty much that donors can't be assured of what will happen to the monies they donate through the site. I think it's safe to say that the GoFundMe site is a Caveat Emptor world.
So what is that value added that nonprofit boards bring? Peace of mind and some assurance that when money is donated, it will be used for what the donor intended. And, for the most pat this is true. And, to reinforce this assumption, according to the article:
Several big funds have joined forces in an official centralized campaign that raised more than $23 million, including the $7 million from Equality Florida’s GoFundMe campaign.
The donations to the central fund are generally tax-deductible, since they go to registered charities. Donations to a crowdfunding site are typically not tax-deductible, unless the organizer is a tax-exempt charity.
The bigger charities — unlike many crowdfunding campaigns — give timetables for distributing aid, and detail recipients and how decisions are made. Ken Feinberg, administrator for the centralized fund, has already held two town hall meetings with survivors and family members of the victims.
But, when compared to a non-formally organized fund: In one crowdfunding campaign, friends Guardini Bellefleur and Demetrice Naulings asked for $25,000 to set up a vaguely defined foundation in memory of Eddie Justice, a friend of Naulings killed in the shootings. They said the money would pay for Justice’s funeral and victim counseling.
As is the point of today's blog, little do we really know about asks that don't come from nonprofits - institutions with folks who are responsible for ensuring that money given will go where it is intended.