In 2013, GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator wrote an open letter to the donors of America in a campaign to end the Overhead Myth—the false conception that financial ratios are the sole indicator of nonprofit performance. For our second letter, released in October 2014, we invite the nonprofits of America to do their part to focus donors’ attention on what really matters: your organization’s efforts to make the world a better place. We ask nonprofits and the social sector at large to join us as we move toward an Overhead Solution.

The Letters

Letter to the
Donors of America

Letter to the
Nonprofits of America

How To Share The Message

We need your help! Help us to spread the word that the percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs—commonly referred to as “overhead”—is not a primary measure of a charity’s performance and that results matter more.


Both Overhead Myth letters are licensed under a Creative Commons “Attribution- No Derivs” License, which means that you can use either letter to communicate the message to your donors and other stakeholders. Both letters can be shared with your stakeholders however you like: e-mail them as attachments, print and include in your donor solicitations, put them on your website, share via social media, or print it out for your next board meeting.