I want to talk about money.
I'm in a non-profit sector, but no profit obviously does not mean no money.
The biggest difference with the for-profits is, probably, a larger public interest involved. And the size of the business does not matter - as soon as you receive a dollar as a donation, people want to see where it goes.
And I guess it's the case not only for non-profits, but for any businesses or institutions that involve public money.
Do you care, as an investor, where exactly the company is sourcing its printer ink and how much does it spend on Google ads as long as it brings the expected returns? I'm sure that Steemit is full of socially responsible and environmentally conscious investors, but in the wider audience I don't believe this is always the case:)
In the public finance world every dollar that you spend is being judged, discussed, and benchmarked. Did you hear that people don't want to donate just because they're not sure about what these guys in the fund are doing with the money? And this is still better than level of trust to the governments.
It always amused me while living in Switzerland, how people get upset with government agencies spending extra hundred CHF on the admin expenses. They talk about inefficiencies. They've l just never been to Russia:)
I think the demand for transparency is huge.
Of course, there are different forms of public reporting - in the US as a non-profit you have to file a special form to IRS which is open for a public view. But will you go to the IRS website every year to check how did the fund spend $100 that you donated to it once? And even if you would, you'd never find your $100 there.
That's why there appeared services like Charity Navigator. The attempt to make sense of all this data.
Few people check their government institutions financial reports either. They just prefer not to trust them. And I kind of feel the same.
I wanna share with you a nice tool that has recently been launched by a startup in LA. It's called Frank.money.
The idea is very simple - you open your finances to the world. You show your investors, donors and anyone interested in your project how you spend your money.
It's taking the data directly from your bank account, and you only choose how to name and describe the transaction or which category to attribute. The feed from the bank account is built on blockchain and you cannot remove or hide any transaction. No creative accounting. No BS. I liked it.
The tool is still in the test mode, but we decided to already introduce in in our project. I've talked about it before, this post is not about it (you can check it out at handmadecharity.org)
Our project is not capital-intense, but we wanna do some fundraising later this year. And that's when we'll see if transparency is appreciated:)
Now you can already see not only us with our peanut expenses, but how Frank themselves spend their investments:
They want to introduce this tool for charities, crowdfunding platforms, government institutions. (I'm not so optimistic about the latter though:) These guys want to change the world.
I really like the idea and I'm in. But I am still not convinced about the global change.. Putting aside the very non-transparent nature of government bodies, for many people their bank accounts, even business ones, are their intimate zones. They take it very private. Even charities.
So it's not about just building the tool, it's about changing the public perception of money. It's about spreading the attitude of openness.
What do you think, Steemit community? Do you believe in the future world of transparency?