With the start of a new year, many nonprofits are evaluating their year-end campaigns and maybe even making plans for the end of 2019. 

Instead, nonprofits need to focus on communicating with donors all year long, not just as a means to meet year-end goals, but showcasing the impact through the given donations.

It is not an easy task to find charities with the highest impact. If we just look for the biggest or most well-known charities, these don’t necessarily translate to the most effective organizations. A charity might be excellent at collecting donations, but poor in meeting objectives and making a real difference.

So why are donors more focused on impact?


Donors like to know if their donations have been well used and what impact they have achieved. Donors may want to use this information to communicate their impact, share lessons from their work or review their approach or strategy. Some of these reasons will be more appropriate for some types of donor than others. For example, for a corporate donor, the communicating impact might be a particular priority, whereas, for an individual, it may be more important to understand whether their overall objectives are being met.

Assessing impact involves understanding the difference that charities make and the change they create for the people they help. Charities can find it difficult to demonstrate their impact, but they need to assess their work to show supporters, funders, and beneficiaries what they are achieving, and to enable them to make improvements to their work.

Here are three ways to help you spur more donations in your nonprofits by sharing your “Impact.”

Remember The  80/20 Rule in Donor Retention vs. Donor Acquisition

If nonprofits focus on communication — what they are saying and how they are saying it — they can better retain donors and move them up the giving ladder, which is much more effective in the long run than spending all their energy on obtaining new, low-end donors. The 80-20 rule still exists: Twenty percent of your individual donors will accomplish 80 percent of your individual fundraising goals.

Rather than focusing on “acquire new donors, engage the community, and build general brand awareness,” try focusing on illustrating the impact made to current donors.   

Communicate Your Nonprofit Impact – Not Nonprofit Needs

We also need to be paying attention to what we are communicating. Nonprofits get very focused on the challenges they face while doing their good work, and they want to take every opportunity they have in front of donors to let them know what they need. Eventually, donors will stop listening.

Nonprofits can better connect with their donors by giving them messages that lead with results. How can you clearly explain — and show — what your organization is giving back to your community? To help your nonprofits maintain and gain donors, answer these five questions before communicating with donors:

  1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?
  2. Can you share some of your nonprofits strategies for making this happen?
  3. Is your nonprofit capable of doing this?
  4. How will your nonprofit know if you are making progress?
  5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

When you focus your donor message on impact, you accomplish two important things at the same time. You get a chance to connect with the donor, and then you close the loop by showing that donor the tangible result of their gift.

Impact communications allow donors to connect the dots between the act of giving and the ultimate impact achieved. By using an impact message, your organization gets potential or current donors to truly understand not only the problem that your mission solves but how their actions, no matter how small or large, contribute to the solution.

Share Stories of Your Nonprofits Impact

Donors are curious how your nonprofit is making an impact in the lives and communities of the people you serve. The good news is there are many different channels through which your nonprofit can communicate impact.

  • Share stories of impact through video – Video has become an important tool for any brand to share their story and mission and is a relatively affordable option for any nonprofit.
  • Share stories on your blog – Does your nonprofit blog? Having a blog on your website can improve your online rankings with search engines, drive more traffic to your site and establish your nonprofit as an industry authority.
  • Focus on the numbers and what they mean – Analyze your annual reports for great statistics that you can use to show your nonprofit’s impact, then share the human stories behind those statistics.

Bottom line: don’t expect impact measurement to go away anytime soon. As time goes on, donors will want to see more and more concrete examples of impact.

How are you communicating impact in your nonprofit? Leave a comment below.