One of the most fiercely debated questions in charity funded organizations is the one as to whether they should invest in office décor. This is usually followed by a question as what the ideal type of office decorations for such charity-funded organizations would be (if, indeed, investing in office decorations turns out to be the right thing for them to do). Those are the questions we now venture to explore possible answers to. But we first of all need to understand why charity-funded organizations are unique in this context.
Why charity-funded organizations are unique:
There is one major reason as to why charity-funded organizations are unique in contexts like this. The reason is in the fact that these are organizations which operate without their own revenue sources. They depend on receiving money from well-disposed people, and then using that money to help people with various unique needs. Subsequently, they have to be very careful in their administrative expenditures and purchase of things like cars for staff and office décor items, like an office floor mat – lest they be perceived to be wasting donors’ funding, and possibly be sanctioned.
Whether it is right for a charity funded organization to invest in office décor:
Opinions vary on this, but many people are of the persuasion that well thought out office decorations can actually add value to charity-funded organizations. A charity funded organization with good office décor stands to benefit from:
Improved perceptions by external stakeholders: this would be the case, provided the office decorations bought are not perceived as extravagant. It emerges that if the external stakeholders (donors for instance) visit the organization’s premises, and they encounter bare offices with no décor whatsoever, they’d tend to get the impression that it is not a proper organization. There are things an office needs, if it is to look proper: and a certain level of décor is definitely one of them. Now improved perception is important for charity funded organizations because, for one, most people would be very hesitant to entrust their money to an organization which looks dubious from the appearance of its offices. But even where the people overcome that perception, they’d tend to perceive it as a ‘cheap’ organization, and therefore tend to give the smaller donations they henceforth believe it deserves, on account of its ‘cheapness.’
Success consciousness in the internal environment: this would tend to have an effect on the organization’s staff morale and general effectiveness in its central mission. It has been established (through well controlled research) that proper office décor can, for instance, improve performance by as much as 15 percent.
The ideal type of office décor for charity funded organizations:
The ideal type of office decoration for charity funded organizations would be that which looks decent, but inexpensive. The office décor items have to look decent, if they are to serve the intended purpose of inducing the necessary level of success consciousness in the organization, whilst also somewhat impressing external stakeholders who may come visiting. But it has to be inexpensive, if the organization is to avoid creating a wrong impression that it is squandering charitably received monies on unnecessary things, like costly office décor.
- The Advantage Of Using Taxbrain If You Make Charitable Donations (2010taxes.org)
- Tim Dwight’s Back in Iowa and Racing (brutusreport.blogspot.com)