In our popular article, Five Charity Myths Dispelled, we tacked 5 common misconceptions about charities. Last month, Ken Berger participated in a panel discussion for reporters that focused on this very topic (read some of his comments here). At that event, co-hosted by Edelman, the Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Bridgespan Group, a list titled "Top 10 Myths in Covering the Nonprofit World" was distributed. I share these with you as many donors also subscribe to these beliefs.
Here are the first 5:
- Myth: All nonprofits are the same.
Reality: There is incredible diversity in the nonprofit world, from small community-based tutoring programs to museums with major endowments.
- Myth: The philanthropy beat is an easy one to cover.
Reality: Covering philanthropy is demanding and requires familiarity with a broad range of issues, from arts and culture to international development.
- Myth: Nonprofits are dependent primarily on private funding.
Reality: The bulk of nonprofit funding comes from government sources.
- Myth: Most charitable giving is to support social services.
Reality: More than a third of private giving is to religious organizations.
- Myth: Information on nonprofits is not available and hard to obtain.
Reality: Helpful information on nonprofits' finances is easily available through [Foundation Center's Form 990 Finder, Charity Navigator] and charities' tax returns (990s) are public information and very useful.