Good Intentions’ mission is to provide donors with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed funding decisions.
Donor decisions do matter. The types of charities and projects donors choose to fund impacts the type of aid recipients receive. The pressures donors place on organizations affect the quality of assistance charities provide. Unfortunately well-intentioned donations can accidentally reward bad aid projects and punish good ones. Good Intentions is dedicated to providing donors with the information, tools, and resources they need to ensure their donations match their good intentions.
Good Intentions are Not Enough is a service of The Charity Rater, LLC.
With over twenty years experience in the non-profit world, Saundra Schimmelpfennig is intimately familiar with all sides of charity. Over the years she has experienced it from almost every perspective. Saundra has been a volunteer for local projects, staff at several non-profits, and a member of non-profit governing boards. She has worked in government offices both locally and abroad and has sat on government steering committees. Saundra has been part of the in-country senior management team for an international nonprofit, founded an international nonprofit, and tracked the work of hundreds of nonprofits. She has overseen nonprofit research projects, evaluated assistance programs, and taken part in national and multi-national efforts to improve aid and development. Saundra has been an individual donor, a disaster survivor, and an aid recipient.
This experience has given Saundra a holistic view of nonprofit work. She has learned from experience that Good Intentions are Not Enough. Saundra is passionate about improving the quality of assistance and believes that the best way to improve aid is to educate individual donors.
How did Good Intentions get started?
In the wake of the 2004 tsunami Saundra was sent to Thailand to help a government office coordinate all of the nonprofits flooding into the area. Working on the ground for four years, she saw the best and the worst of aid and its impact on the people it was sent to help.
Fluent in Thai from her time as a Peace Corps volunteer, Saundra was able to speak with villagers, religious leaders, government officials, and staff of local organizations. She also regularly met with the heads of international aid organizations, United Nations staff, foundations, and donors. It quickly became apparent that many poor aid practices were a result of charities trying to attract or keep donors. The donors themselves were unaware of the many misconceptions they held about aid. These misconceptions combined with the lack of easily accessible information made it almost impossible for donors to give in ways that matched their good intentions.
Since returning from Thailand, has Saundra dedicated herself to educating individual donors. In addition to blogging about aid and development on Good Intentions, she is also the author of the blog World View for the The Chronicle of Philanthropy and blogs occasionally for The Huffington Post. Saundra presents talks and leads workshops on good donorship, she developed The Charity Rater, LLC, and has crafted a book proposal which her agent is currently submitting to publishers.