As a socially responsible business, you already know that your company and its philanthropic efforts do not exist in a vacuum. And while you might do a great job supporting your nonprofit partners both financially and with your employees’ time, most nonprofit organizations have at one point fallen victim to the Overhead Myth.
The Overhead Myth is a misconception that spending money on administrative and fundraising costs is a bad thing. It’s been confusing donors and funders for too long about what matters when judging a nonprofit, and it is actively harming our ability to solve the world’s problems.
On Wednesday, October 16th VolunteerMatch hosted a special Nonprofit Insights webinar, “The Overhead Myth: What It Is, Why It Matters…and What Now?” Guest speakers Jacob Harold, president and CEO of Guidestar, and Ann Goggins Gregory, Senior Director of Knowledge at the Bridgespan Group, joined Greg Baldwin of VolunteerMatch to discuss the cultural values and past behavior of nonprofits, businesses and funders that have led to the current problem, and to answer the critical question of “What now?”
What the Overhead Myth is, why it exists, and how you and your community can take action to change things…for good.
Predictably, there just wasn’t enough time in the session to cover all of the critical information pertaining to this issue, and there certainly wasn’t enough time to answer all of the great questions asked by attendees. So below is a list of resources for you to learn more about what the Overhead Myth is, why it exists, and how you and your community can take action to change things…for good.
- Watch the full recording of the Overhead Myth Nonprofit Insights webinar.
- Access the slide deck from the Overhead Myth Nonprofit Insights webinar.
- Read a live blog of the webinar discussion generously provided by Digital Strategies.
- Explore the Overhead Myth campaign website.
- Access the Letter to Donors written by Jacob Harold and the other co-founders of the Overhead Myth campaign.
- Read Greg Baldwin’s Linkedin Influencer post about the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle and the Overhead Myth.
- Check out the brief video and discussion guides from Donors Forum about “If We Want Our Funding to Change the World…”
- Access the Foundation Center’s special report on foundations’ administrative expenses.
A special message from Ann Goggins Gregory for Bay Area-based participants: We’ve seen a keen desire for more in-person conversation about how to break out of the Overhead Myth. If you are interested in participating in in-formal meet-ups on this topic—facilitated by Ann and her colleagues at Bridgespan’s San Francisco office—we are very interested in hearing from you. Our intent would be to hear about and learn from what approaches you have tried, trouble-shoot together ways to break out of the myth, etc. If you are interested, please reach out to Ann directly at email@example.com.
We hope you’ll explore these resources and use them to engage your community, employees and leaders in ending the Overhead Myth.
Is your company doing something to fight the Overhead Myth? Share it with us below!