A major motivator for generous giving to nonprofit organizations is contributing to a solution and changing something for the better. According to the Fidelity Charitable Overcoming Barriers to Giving Report, 65% of donors would give more if they knew the impact of their donations. After all, there is nothing more disappointing than contributing hard-earned money to what looks like a good cause, and then having absolutely no idea whether it made any difference.
That’s why supplementing online fundraisers with follow-ups that show the impact of donations is so powerful. It lets donors determine for themselves that their donation, involvement, and passion moved the needle and made a measurable contribution to the world. When supporters see that their generosity truly matters, they’re much more likely to give again, give more, and publicize the cause.
Thankfully, there are plenty of effective and thoughtful ways that nonprofits can show donors the impact of their donations:
1) Give thanks.
It sounds simple, but nonprofits shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the personal touch. Whether with an email or a text message (or even a phone call!), making donors feel appreciated goes a long way toward building long-lasting relationships. A thank you note shows supporters that the organization acknowledges and is grateful for their contribution, and that they aren’t just a number. Details really matter, which is why it’s helpful to mention how the contribution was, or will be, allocated. A donor will be pleased to learn that, for example, their $100 donation helped kickstart a conservation project or deliver a week worth of food to a family in need.
2) Give social media shoutouts.
When Americans spend nearly an hour a day scrolling Facebook, an organization should make the most of social media engagement to show donors the impact of their donations. When a contribution is made, it’s a good idea to publicize gratitude by posting the name of the donor with a special message of thanks on social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Being acknowledged publicly makes supporters feel special, which means they’re more likely to re-post, re-tweet, and share the shoutout, expanding the reach of the organization’s mission.
3) Give something real.
There’s a good reason why an iconic nonprofit like the World Wildlife Fund sends stickers and a stuffed animal to donors who sign up to adopt a tiger, a giraffe, or another animal. Receiving that small gift—along with annual updates on how “their” animal is doing—is measurable, touchable, huggable proof that an annual subscription is a big deal. Look, a donor can say to themselves, “my” tiger had a great year, and it’s thanks to my donation! Nothing feels better than that.
4) Give outcomes.
Giving funds is easier and more satisfying when a contributor knows exactly what their donation will cover. Nonprofit organizations can show donors the impact of their donations by linking dollar amounts to real-life outcomes on their websites, social media channels, and donation pages. For example, $5 delivers a pair of shoes, $50 covers a week of meals for a family of four, while $1000 builds a well in a village.
5) Give numbers.
When an organization is transparent about how funds are allocated, it builds trust. It also goes a long way toward reassuring potential donors that their contribution won’t be wasted. It’s smart to breakdown the numbers on a fundraising platform, website, emails, newsletters, and other marketing materials showing that, for example, the nonprofit’s program receives 85% of all donations, or 91 cents for every dollar. Specify that the rest goes toward administrative costs, fundraising events, research, and so on.
6) Give reports.
For some donors, it’s vital to be appreciated in public. Others prefer to reach for their calculators and crunch the numbers to determine exactly how much of an impact they’re making to their favorite cause. To satisfy this empirical tendency, an organization should share monthly or annual financial reports with their supporters, highlighting funding goals, campaign successes, progress made, and donor impact. While stories are important, the point of a financial report is to demonstrate results using hard data, so there’s no doubt about how donations are being used to meet funding objectives that translate into real-life results.
Building Lasting Relationships Boosts Donor Retention
Building a long-term relationship with donors that’s based on trust, transparency, and gratitude goes a long way to making a nonprofit organization successful. While boosting visibility is essential, it’s always easier—and less expensive—to retain donors than work to attract new ones. When donors feel appreciated and can see the impact of their donations, they’re more likely to give generously of their funds, their time, and their loyalty.
RallyUp is an innovative platform that empowers nonprofits to create engaging, memorable fundraising experiences – with ease.
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