Is Your Overhead Unreasonable?

Sixty-two percent of Americans believe the typical nonprofit organization spends more than what is reasonable on overhead expenses such as administration and fundraising, according to a new survey.

When respondents were asked what is a reasonable level of overhead costs for nonprofits, the average figure was 22.4 cents for every dollar collected. However, when asked what they thought the typical nonprofit actually spends on overhead costs, the figure was 36.3 cents per dollar.

The findings, gleaned from a survey developed and conducted by Ellison Research involving more than 1,000 American adults, found that while respondents were fairly consistent in their thinking about how much charities should spend, their thoughts on how much charities actually spend were more diverse.

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