March 03, 2016

Podcast: How Nonprofits Can — and Must — Use Research Effectively

"Nonprofits ... remind me of medieval medicine, where the doctor doesn’t really know either," says Caroline Fiennes, an author, physicist, and founder of Giving Evidence, a Britain-based organization that aims to promote philanthropic practices based on sound evidence.  

In this clip from The Business of Giving, Ms. Fiennes cites research suggesting that charities with higher overhead are actually more effective; discusses the reasons for publication bias in the nonprofit world; explains why charities should never try to do research to show their own effectiveness; and shares data on whether donors really care about impact. 

She asserts that nature has a way of fooling us and that rigorous research is critical in helping determine what charities and philanthropic interventions are the most effective. 

Listen to the entire podcast below.

Also, listen to an interview with Chronicle of Philanthropy Editor Stacy Palmer here.