Few months ago, a discussion about the increased fundraising campaigns on the Internet took place on Facebook, which gave rise to other significant topics related to resource allocation, and oftentimes competition, among NPOs. Few months later, NetTuesday organisers moved the online discussion to a real discussion space.
United Way Taiwan stressed the transformation from fairness to common good, and of NPOs from passive recipients (and whiners) to value creators. With the Internet, companies and the general public have changed both ideas and behaviors, which will result in the change in allocators and their way and the results of allocation. The central issue for NPOs is how to improve our capacities for value creation.
Issues and questions were thrown to the Facebook. Some were met by discussion, others were not. Issues include: the fairness of online clicking campaigns, whether the new allocation models push over some other NPOs, the ways NPOs can use the Internet to acquire support, the resource allocation and fundraising, and at last, the competition and cooperation among NPOs.
Louis W.L. Chen, Deputy Executive Director, the United Way Taiwan
Do online fundraising campaigns bring closer NPOs and the public, or they rely on corporate PR even more?
How can NPOs, while maximizing resources and optimizing results, not push other smaller NPOs to further marginal position?
A Taiwanese bank has just launched a click-to-vote campaign. More than 300 NPOs and their projects participate the campaign and have started all-out lobbying efforts trying to get the most votes and the final cash prizes.
Everybody to handle resource allocation?
Starting with United Way's auditing expertise, Louis anticipated the shift from expert reviewers to citizen reviewers.
The Internet has motivated companies to allocate grants by themselves and bypassed professional organization like the United Way. How should resources be divided and allocated? In the action of allocation, is fairness the necessary objective, and whose fairness is it? Allocation should be fair for the sake of fairness, or for the common good.
Louis furthered the argument by reminding NPOs of the new realities: the greater transparency of information has required the fairness among NPOs to be moved to the fairness among end recipients. Donors need to know and feel the service is better and value is created.
The Outcome NPO Service: Value Creation
For the United Way, their objective is not to provide steady salary to social workers but to make sure the result of sponsored projects can create value and transform the society.
Similarly, companies don't donate to keep NPOs alive but to invest. Recipient NPOs are obliged to explain to the public about how money is spent and what positive impact is made.
Do online campaigns promote the disadvantaged or the common good?
Response is mixed. The certain thing is that NPOs need to understand companies' perspectives and to identify our organizational capacities and operational strength before cooperating with companies.
Ann Kao participated the discussion via Skype. She urged NPOs to make more engagement with donors and company PRs and have better understanding in order to be better resource mobilisers and gatekeepers of resource allocation.
New Concepts in New Words:
- A shared vision: to realize the societies with Common Good.
- Equality = Common Good (versus the qualitative fairness in conventional practice)
Event Photos：Rethink Resource Allocation in NPO Sector