The Cost of Philanthropy

I do a lot of reading of other professional blogs that keep me up to speed on what successful foundations are doing.

Theses blogsĀ  focus on a variety of non-profit topics including social media, fundraising, celebrity charities, tax issues, and sometimes the causes themselves.

Inevitably there is always an article on how a certain organization raised a lot of money with a very interesting and creative idea. Each one of those ideas however seemed to come with a hefty price tag.

Virtually all of theses programs have a spending component associated with the campaign that claimed a significant part of the money raised. The fundraiser I read about most recently was from “Autism Speaks” and it was a slick idea where you could purchase a particular actors voice over for your mobile phone by making a donation of $299.00.

In order to make the launch successful the organization needed to spend a significant amount of money on promotion and according to the article “To ensure the success of the fundraising experiment, Autism Speaks promoted the campaign to its supporters by sending them e-mails and posting messages on social networks. It also purchased Facebook, Google, and Twitter ads and hired a public-relations agency that attracted some 200 articles and other items mentioning the appeal.”

Of course there is nothing wrong with this approach and it is a prudent one given that this is the model most non-profits follow to survive, raise money and get their word out. For organizations like Orchid who are committed to giving away all the money it raises to the people it raises it for, the task becomes far more daunting. We don’t have traditional financial resources to expend on PR or promotion. In fact, at this stage we don’t have any at all.

Last year Orchid committed 100% of the money it raised to the communities it supports. We’re proud of that fact and we will do it again in 2013 but we must also expand our reach and tell our story to a larger audience. We must also find Founders will help cover administrative costs so we can continue to help the families that so desperately need it.

That’s where you come in. Orchid is seeking your input and ideas on how we can spread the good news, raise the capital our communities need to become self sufficient and still give away all the money we receive that is earmarked for their missions.

The great news is that it costs you nothing but a few thousand firing neurons . Orchid calls this “intellectual equity” and we think you have a lot to offer.

So Please Send us Your Suggestion via Facebook, this blog, LinkedIn or email at and let us know your thoughts on how we can lower the cost of Philanthropy!

As a thank you for your intellectual equity I will personally record the message of your choice on your voice mail answering device.

God Bless,



Leave A Comment