On September 30, SheGives Fellows gathered at the Boston Foundation’s lovely offices in Back Bay to meet with SheGives Board members and The Giving Common’s Katherine Scott and Leigh Handschuh.
The Giving Common, an initiative of The Boston Foundation, is a detailed online resource that connects donors to in-depth information about nonprofit organizations working to enhance communities across Massachusetts, built around the belief that data is a critical part of driving social change. The Giving Common is a publicly accessible site with considerable information about Greater Boston nonprofits that has been an efficient and important tool for SheGives’ diligence, and we were thrilled to have the benefit of Katherine and Leigh’s expertise.
SheGives’ fellows got to a powerful crash-course in research as Katherine Scott and Leigh Handschuh of the Boston Foundation’s Giving Common brought the fellows together with the SheGives board members to review the due diligence process that is so important to SheGives when selecting nonprofits to add to the slate. Fellows were taught the indicators of organizational effectiveness, such as history and track record, governance, and executive leadership, and where to find this information when reviewing nonprofit organizations. Fellows were also taught how to use 990 tax forms and audits to answer important due diligence questions, such as “Are there diverse sources of revenue?” and “How are the board and staff structured?” among many others. Scott and Handschuh also taught fellows about red flags to be aware of when reviewing 990 forms and audits of nonprofits and what questions they should be prepared to ask if these red flags should appear. Fellows were given resources for thoroughly researching and understanding nonprofits and their financial and community standing.
SheGives’s research fellows will be taking this information and moving on to begin the process of researching new Boston-area nonprofit organizations to add to the SheGives Slate in the next year. Fellows will be looking into years of financial reports and breaking down how these organizations are run to ensure that the next SheGives grantees are truly effective in the areas they serve and, thus, ensuring that new grantees are the best possible fit for SheGives and its members.
More on the diligence process and good resources, including the Giving Common, can be found here
We are incredibly grateful to The Boston Foundation and its Giving Common initiative. Check out its website here.
SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area. We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.