While new fundraising techniques, such as those based on Internet technologies, mobile phones (and especially the newer types of smartphones with many "apps,") and those equipped with SMS capabilities, and instant, on-site high-definition satellite broadcasting, and all the techniques used to manipulate psychological and charitable impulses, international NGO developed fundraising activities in different local markets around the world, the challenge is how to promote charity transparency and accountability.
What do donors, development agencies, and NGOs in this context expect from national monitoring organizations? Or, maybe to put the matter more bluntly, what to these donors, development agencies, and NGOs expect from government authorities in the context of regulating their activities and promoting transparency and accountability?
This presentation presented the question as to how civil society develops around the world? What do research and studies say about global charity trends? How can ICFO help national monitoring organizations be prepared to address these trends?
- There are differences between people in affirming comfort in giving through these new technologies.
- There are differences between countries as to the triggering mechanisms for giving -- printed material, email, and new media.
- Social networking may be good for branding and connecting with charities, but is not particularly effective in raising funds.
- There is increased attention to, and calls for measuring effectiveness impact of the work of the charity or NGO.
- Over the years there has been an increased depends on government or public funding, and with the economic crisis around the world, there are diminishing funds available from government sources thereby jeopardizing the work and identity of civil society organizations.
- People generally, and donors more specifically, tend to be confused or misled by the nature of certification or seals granted by national monitoring organization, thinking that such certifications suggest effectiveness of the work of the charity.
- As a result of postmodernity, the nature of dissemination of news, and an increasingly prevailing sense of skepticism in society, there is a declining trust in institutions at all levels of society, including civil society raising the challenge of how trust is to be restored to the sector.
- There is an increasingly important role in civil society played by institutional donors, such as for profit companies, either operating as limited partnerships with public benefit purposes while minimizing the objective of profits, or in partnership with charitable organizations as key players and donors.
- Problems with charity monitoring are complicated further with internationally operating charities.
- Money flow is difficult to follow.
- Responsibilities and accountability are not so clear.
- Truthful information on international structures is not always forthcoming or clear to understand.
- Outsourcing costs are difficult to track.
The purpose of ICFO is to ensure that fundraising for charitable purposes is being organized and performed in a satisfactory manner and that the administration of the collected funds is adequate. ICFO and its Members look after the interests of donors. This Annual General Membership meeting was directed like all of the Annual General Membership meetings, to that end. But, beyond that, it gave each member organization the opportunity to hear what challenges we face in this era of new media, to network within our association, and to hear the views of those leaders in the nonprofit sector that came to participate in this important meeting.
- Monitoring online platforms is complicated by lack of standard practices, languages, and methodologies of presenting information.