Good Ideas Forum- The Overhead Myth: Insight And Understanding Shared By Jacob Harold, President and CEO Of Guidestar

Event Date: 

Friday, December 2, 2016 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

Event Location: 

The Rivers Club
Oxford Center
301 Grant St
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Date: Friday, December 2, 2016

Time: 1:30 -3:00 PM

Location: The Rivers Club, Oxford Center | 301 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Cost: $10 per person

Contact: Michelle Heck, Nonprofit Talent, 412-849-7786

As sector-wide awareness that overhead ratios are false proxies of effectiveness has increased, a vacuum of information about what is appropriate for nonprofit assessment exists in its wake. Hollow pie charts need to be replaced with meaningful results-based evidence. Jacob Harold, president and CEO of GuideStar, will share why GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance started a campaign denouncing the use of "overhead ratios" as primary indicators of nonprofit performance.

This campaign, The Overhead Myth, sparked the beginning of a movement to correct the common misconception about the importance of a low overhead ratio. Instead of focusing on the percentage of a charity's expenses that go to administrative and fundraising cost, commonly referred to as overhead, we need to focus on what really matters: impact.

Jacob Harold is the President & CEO of GuideStar, the world's largest source of information about nonprofits.  He came to GuideStar from the Hewlett Foundation, where he oversaw $30 million in grants which, together, sought to build a 21st-century infrastructure for smart giving. Earlier in his career, he worked as strategist and campaigner at the Bridgespan Group, the Packard Foundation, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, and Green Corps.

Harold has written extensively on climate change and philanthropic strategy. His essays have been used as course materials at Stanford, Duke, Wharton, Harvard, Oxford, and Tsinghua. He earned an AB summa cum laude from Duke University, an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is a graduate of the Complex Systems Summer School at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Harold was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where his parents ran small community-based nonprofit organizations.


GuideStar is the world's largest source of nonprofit information, connecting people and organizations with data on 2.4 million nonprofits. Each year, more than 7 million people, including individual donors, nonprofit leaders, grantmakers, government officials, academic researchers, and the media, use GuideStar data to make intelligent decisions about the social sector. GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles are populated with information from the IRS, directly from nonprofits, and via other partners in the nonprofit sector. In addition, users see GuideStar data on more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications.\

This Good Ideas Forum is being presented by Nonprofit Talent, in collaboration with our partners The Forbes Funds, and The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership.