Efficiency in fundraising and distributions to cause-related social profit enterprises
Managerial efficiency is as important in social profit enterprises (SPEs) as it is for more traditional financial-profit organizations. In this regard, both donors and SPE executives use efficiency information in making decisions. Here, we suggest a linked, two-stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) methodology for assessing efficiency in both charitable fundraising and cause delivery, while empirically investigating results for international aid organizations. The model allows efficiency assessment for both the fundraising and utilization of generated funds when directed for cause-related purposes. This, in particular, allows for measurement of the organization's managerial efficiency relative to both multiple phased goals and peer organizations. Additionally, the approach provides benchmarks for identifying sources of improved performance in fundraising and program/cause service delivery. It can also project the results of changes in inputs on the amount of resources available for the charitable organization's cause. The proposed model(s) allow the examiner to assess performance while, at the same time, identifying those instances wherein the simple ratio measures commonly used in non-profit assessment are (1) deficient, and/or (2) misleading because of the use of 'incorrect' variables, or the 'hiding' of inefficiency if/when tax form categories are filed by an SPE. Importantly, the suggested two-stage DEA methodology can be useful for any organization with multiple-linked goals.
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