View of Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel.

Why is Transparency in Non-Profits so Important?

The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, along with the rest of the country’s non-profit organizations rely on the public’s trust in their ethics and financial transparency. Nonprofit leaders recognize that transparency equates to donor’s trust in their mission with each incoming donation. Most importantly, organizations that practice accountability and openness are far more likely to earn the public’s trust. Trust becomes the thread that weaves together the fabric of transparency and effective fundraising.

At the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, we strive to achieve transparency through accountability with our donors. We work diligently to provide sustainable programs that will truly implement positive change, and we value every donation as an impactful investment into our mission. We aim to go deeper by helping our friends, volunteers and donors practice intentional philanthropy.

Established in 2001, Charity Navigator has grown to become America’s largest and most utilized nonprofit assessor. Charity Navigator provides donors with an unbiased, numbers-based analysis overview of thousands of charities across the nation. This resource allows the public to see what percentage of their donation is directed toward its programs in relation to other administrative and fundraising expenses. Charity Navigator’s ratings cover two areas of a nonprofit’s conduct; financial health, and accountability and transparency. With this information, donors are able to gain a broad overview of how an organization will steward a donation, the stability of its infrastructure and programs, and its commitment to good business practice and transparency.

We are proud to announce Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land has earned a seventh consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. This is the highest possible rating and indicates that our organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Only 7% of the charities evaluated have received at least 7 consecutive 4-star evaluations, setting FFHL apart from its peers and demonstrating our trustworthiness to the public. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work.

The most recent information published on Charity Navigator shows 85% of FFHL’s fundraising dollars are spent on the programs we offer Christians undergoing severe hardship and persecution in the Holy Land. Administrative expenses are less than 10%, and fundraising expenses 5%. On average, FFHL operates on a $0.04 expense per every $1 raised. This figure is found by calculating the average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years. We rely heavily on the generosity of our supporters, who understand the importance of safeguarding a Christian presence in Israel, the birthplace of our Lord and Savior.

We are committed to being totally transparent with our organization. FFHL wants our donors, friends and volunteers to know the truth about our goals, leadership and fundraising initiatives. We practice openness on how our funds are raised and dispersed through our ongoing communication and donor mailings.

With readily available technology today, we believe it is even more critical to practice openness and accountability. When the public is able to clearly see fundraising goals, initiatives and ongoing good stewardship practices of fundraising dollars, a donor base is likely to begin growing. A partnership forms between the donor base and the organization to achieve a shared goal. People want to partner with a cause that they care about.

The need for transparency has never been greater. Today’s current generation lives very public lives, and expects the organizations they partner with to do the same. Clear communication is a critical element of establishing a platform of trust. Challenges that arise and are handled with transparency will only strengthen fundraising partnerships and generate community trust.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization, FFHL depends on public support to help preserve the Living Stones and safeguard the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Thank you for investing in the mission and vision of FFHL.