charity security - ronn torossian foundation

California Invests in Charity Security

When you give to any charity, no matter how good the cause, there are two questions donors ask: How much is the cause actually getting, and is my donation safe?

These days, this latter question is getting more attention than ever. Between hackers and technology miscues and plain ol’ vanilla human error, data is being lost, stolen and misused at a record pace. To combat this trend and reassure donors in one of the richest states in the nation, California Governor Jerry Brown recently budgeted up to $2 million to help fund security at various nonprofit organizations deemed to be “at risk” of violent attack.

According to certain media outlets, this latest state program designed to help increase security in order to calm fears experienced by many nonprofit institutions that may become targets of radical Islamists. Many local groups are jumping on board to support the program. In one report, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is said to have led the effort to create the new funding program. They will match the amount allocated to California by a similar federal nonprofit security initiative.

From a public relations perspective, it is always good news when you can say your organization is more secure. But, that alone, is not the best way to couch that statement. Left like that, receivers will inevitably ask: “More secure than what?” Therein lies the rub.

For example, if you are “more secure” than other similar organizations, awesome. Nearly as good is, “more secure than we once were.” People love improvement. Particularly when that improvement makes them feel their money is safer.

However, you don’t want to be just plain “more secure.” While, on the surface that sounds inviting and comforting. When you scratch that surface, you get nonspecific insecurity. People want to know, ‘well, what’s not secure, then’, and if you don’t have an answer, woe unto you. Because of this potential for a fear reaction due to a lack of information, it is always better to give people a direction to point their fear and a place to apply their relief and feelings of security.

Bottom line, when you are talking about getting better, be specific about what improved.