The Development Corner: Beth Suarez on “The Great Debate”

GuideStar is pleased to announce a new monthly series of posts from our Development team, including Director of Development Beth Suarez, and Jessica Walker, development coordinator. 

The following is a response to the Association of Fundraising Professional’s recent article in their Spring, April 2014 issue, “The Great Debate: How charitable organizations can measure up— for donors, funders and rating services” by Mary Ellen Collins. To read the full article, click here.  


Beth Suarez

It has been nearly a year since the CEOs of GuideStar, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator launched the Overhead Myth campaign,, featuring an open letter to donors denouncing the “overhead ratio” and calling upon donors to focus on more relevant factors in evaluating nonprofits impact – transparency, governance, leadership, and results.

It is exciting to see that the topic has remained at the forefront of discussions within the nonprofit sector – serving as the focal point for many industry meetings, and recently, as the cover story in AFP’s Advancing Philanthropy (Spring 2014) – Mary Ellen Collins’ The Great Debate. And don’t stop with this article, be sure to continue reading in the same publication Paul Lagasse’s article, Not a Money Pit.

Certainly there are many opinions on the topic of overhead, but hopefully through healthy debate and an education of donors, we can all move in a common direction – ensuring that donors understands the importance of investing in overhead and in making thoughtful, informed funding decisions based on a range of critical factors.  Change won’t happen overnight; but it can happen if we continue to discuss and educate our donors.

Beth Suarez is GuideStar’s director of development.  Beth came to GuideStar with 25 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and development, including positions with PBS, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Catholic Charities USA.  She is active in the local nonprofit community and serves on various boards.  You can reach Beth at


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