Scott Rumpsa, Director of Operations and Programs – May 30, 2017
At Global Integrity, we’ve always taken our own accountability seriously. After all, we work on transparency and accountability issues around the world; making sure our own house is both open and in order is fundamental to our credibility. When it comes to financial transparency, for some time we’ve been going the extra mile. We’re currently a Guidestar Silver participant, based our our proactively sharing more than the required financial and operational detail, and received the maximum possible five-star rating in Transparify’s 2016 report, reflecting our exemplary transparency when it comes to publicly disclosing our sources of funding. This was in part based on the fact that on our website we disclose who funds us, in what amount, and for what particular projects. As was noted then, we’re serious about openness and transparency, and want to make it easier for our partners, funders, supporters and critics to follow the money that flows into – and is spent by – Global Integrity.
We’ve just recently upped our game on the financial transparency front, revamping our website’s financial page to provide even more insight into Global Integrity’s financials. Taking lessons from Accountability Lab’s impressive efforts in this realm (utilizing Socrata’s Open Budget application), we have decided to make current year financial information available. While in the past we’ve published our audited financials and 990s on our website (stretching all the way back to our founding in 2005), these are often only ready for presentation 6+ months after a year’s close. We decided that that is not timely enough, and now we are publishing:
- Details on our present year budget, so that others can see our intended scale of work;
- Quarterly updates on our actual expenditures, including a breakdown by program classification; and
- Changes in our unrestricted and restricted net assets as we either spend down prior asset balances or accumulated assets for future use.
To see this in detail, check out our website here. While not flashy, we consider this a good addition to our already shared financial information. And while updating this information quarterly, we’ll also be updating our list of current year funders as new grants and projects are agreed.
We recognize that this is just one step – and in the future will intend to further enhance our efforts towards organizational accountability. We’ll certainly be exploring ways to share more about the impact of our programs, and also investigating other areas of our internal policies and operations that may be useful for us to share more proactively.
And of course, we know that organizational transparency is not necessarily effectiveness. But it it can seed greater accountability – and through that, efficiency and hopefully effectiveness. And this is a step in the right direction. Your feedback – and examples of exemplary transparency that we may do well to emulate in the future – is most welcome.