Tue, November 13 2012

Money for Good Interview 2: How to show impact and keep donors

Katya Andresen's avatar

Author, Robin Hood Marketing

Filed under:   Fundraising essentials •

Today, I’m sharing the second part of an interview I did with the folks behind the Money for Good study and nonprofit guidebook.  You can find the full interview cross-posted at GuideStar.

Here’s the Q&A.

Q: In our research we find that donors have an unmet need for information on the impact a nonprofit is having. We also know that few donors spend more than a few minutes researching the causes they support. How can nonprofits talk about their impact in a simple and effective way so that more donors will pay attention and act?

A: I think there are three basic ways all nonprofits should illustrate impact: with a good story, with very basic impact data and with ratings, endorsements or testimonials.  That provides most of what they need.  A story provides a vivid example of their impact, a bit of data fuels the sense the money went to good use and an endorsement conveys the belief your organization is respected by others.

Q: That’s great advice, Katya. (And happily, consistent with our guidebook!)  So, the pitch is strong, the donor motivated, and a gift comes in. After donors give to a nonprofit, those organizations need to practice good stewardship. We know this means giving thanks, but many organizations also want to continue to ask for more money. In your opinion, what are the “must do” and “don’t do” tips when it comes to following up?

A: You have to thank every donor several times.  A receipt is not enough – you need to explain the difference the donor has made.  You should certainly ask for money again, but not without first making people feel their gifts are having a real effect.

If you aren’t sure of how to write a great thank-you note, check out my tips here.

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