How Sharing Impact Pays Off for Nonprofits

by | Jul 18, 2023 | Development/Fundraising


Are you sharing your nonprofit’s impact enough?

After working with hundreds of nonprofits, one of the great mysteries is how nonprofit organizations do so much incredible work—and yet all too often fail to regularly share the impact of that work with donors and other stakeholders.

Unfortunately, this tendency contributes to one of the biggest challenges in nonprofit fundraising: donor retention.


The Challenge of Donor Retention

Donor retention—or getting donors to give year after year, rather than one time only—is key to building a sustainable nonprofit organization. It’s also a huge challenge for nonprofits.

The average donor retention rate hovers around 45%. That means less than half of donors who gave last year will give this year. Ouch.

But the data gets even more disappointing when looking at new donors. In 2021, only 18.6% of new donors gave a second gift to the same organization. In comparison, 60.7% of repeat donors—those who give to an organization regularly—renewed their gifts.

The secret, then, is cultivating those repeat donors and getting new donors to become repeat donors. That’s where effective messaging and communication come in.


What Do Donors Want?

Like any stakeholder, donors want to feel valued. They want to know their contribution is making a difference. They want to hear from nonprofits more often than an annual funding ask. And the more connected donors are, the more it pays off.

According to research from online giving platform Classy:

  • 73% of donors like to understand the exact impact their donations make on an organization.
  • 38% of donors report they would love to hear from organizations more often.
  • 84% of recurring donors take further action to support organizations they donate to, such as volunteering (45%), making additional donations (42%), attending events (35%), telling friends to donate (30%), sharing organization updates or campaigns on social media (28%), or fundraising on behalf of the organization (26%).

Communicating more effectively with donors is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to keep your donors connected and engaged, including securing recurring gifts.


The Power of Effective Communication

While any regular communication is good, compelling communication is even better. When communicating with donors and stakeholders, there are a few traps we see nonprofit messages fall into:

  • Emphasizing activities over impact. Stakeholders want to understand the change your organization is creating, not get bogged down in a list of activities you’re conducting.
  • Poor layout and design. Since so much communication happens through email and other online tools, it’s vital that your content is clear and easy to read.
  • Not enough detail or way too much detail. The tendency to provide too much information often comes from focusing on activities vs impact. Yes, organizations do a lot of work—but donors want to understand the difference it’s making. Providing just the right level of context is key.

Ready to upgrade your donor and stakeholder messaging? Join Funding for Good’s July webinar, Increasing Engagement Through Targeted Messaging.

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