Lesson Five: Ensuring Accountability

The importance of accountability in a non-profit organization is essential to provide trust and transparency to all stakeholders. Non-profits are accountable to their stakeholders, staff, and population they serve. Organizations should be transparent by providing annual reports, listing primary stakeholders, and financial documents. This allows clear understanding and builds trust. For example, being transparent to committed donors, will allow donors to understand how their money is being spent. One vital way to measure impact is to conduct program evaluations. Evaluations analyzes activities, policies, inputs, and outcomes. Evaluations measures effectiveness and can determine areas of opportunity. They are important and helpful because internal stakeholders can make judgments on how to improve.

There are many organizations that focus too much on pleasing the board of directors or donors. Often, the mission and vision of the organization becomes compromised. Management should be able to continuously reinforce the organizations mission using an effective evaluation tool. Identifying the quality of the program can strengthen and influence positive performance. Setting measures and continuously weighing in on the impact to the organizations and constituents will ultimately set a level of trust, compliance, and transparency.

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