Too often non-profits ask, “How much does it cost?”
Cost is important, but secondary. The main question causes ought to be asking is, “Does it work?”
Being able to identify effectiveness and progress is paramount. The reality is that making things work, costs. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. However, too many causes don’t work because their starting point is making sure they don’t spend more than X per Y.
Do I care if my sponsored child costs me $40 or $42 per month? Not really. I care that my child is getting fed, learning to read and developing appropriately. In order to get that result, tell me what it costs and I’ll gladly pay.
I don’t care how low your overhead cost is if you aren’t producing. Maybe increasing overhead would increase effectiveness and yield better results.
I think too often causes are slaves to donors in reporting how much things cost, instead of telling the story of how what they are doing is really making a big impact.
Step 1. Figure out if it works.
Step 2. Can I do it more effectively (and efficiently).