Every nonprofit wants to increase its revenue, and revenue growth is the direct result of making donors feel that they have a connection to your organization’s mission.
Taking the time to share impact stories with donors and highlighting how their gift has been used to help your nonprofit reach its fundraising and campaign goals will lead to solidifying that connection. This article will give you 4 ways how to connect with donors through sharing impact to increase your nonprofit’s revenue.
Share Success Stories & Convey Raw Data
Donors love reading a good story, and that’s why sharing success stories is one of the more powerful ways to tell donors of the impact they have made through their gifts. To make this story even more credible, incorporate some raw data.
For example, say your nonprofit completed a fundraising campaign to help feed homeless veterans in your community. Instead of stating, “We were able to feed 500 homeless veterans in the community,” share an individual’s story, such as a veteran named Richard who served in Afghanistan and eventually became homeless, or recap all of the good work you have done throughout the year. Then, stress the impact your organization has had because of your donors’ generosity.
There’s no need to share an elaborate and emotional story, but be intentional and methodical when you communicate with the donor the impact and metric data. If you can, include a brief interview with an individual(s) directly impacted by your organization, this strengthens the emotional connection.
The key to successfully sharing impact stories is to remember that you are ultimately showing the results. Not only does sharing success stories make the donor feel good about their contribution, but it also adds to your nonprofit’s credibility, making it a win for both you and your donors.
Shine the Spotlight on the Donor’s Contribution
When thinking about how to engage with donors, share impact and success stories that are personal to them. In the story that you tell, make them the hero. Highlighting and stressing the donor’s contribution, will boost their affinity for your mission and strengthen their commitment to your nonprofit.
Keep your stories and the metrics focused on the donor so that they feel they played a crucial role in your nonprofit achieving its goals. For example, saying, “Thanks to gifts from our donors, we have been able to save endangered elephants” will not have the same impact as, “Thanks to your generous gift, our organization was able to save 50 endangered African elephants.”
To make the connection with the donor stronger, share a video or photos. In this specific case, including photos of the endangered African elephants safe in their new habitat or a video of them roaming freely. If a donation goes towards a specific program, like for a summer youth leadership, share an impact story about an attendee and the impact the gift had on them.
Highlighting the direct impact that the donor had on your mission improves the trust between them and your nonprofit and encourages continued giving. Sharing specific details of donor impact is a clever way to strengthen the donor’s commitment to your cause and grow your revenue.
Be Timely in Sharing Impact
Don’t wait a few days or weeks to communicate with your donors and share success stories, they want to see results quickly. For example, if your nonprofit has been raising funds for a campaign, the total amount raised should be relayed to donors within 48 hours of it ending.
With social media being more important than ever, post to your social feeds often and invite donors to share on their pages as well. Go beyond posting something basic such as, “We met our fundraising goal,” and be specific with the data to make more of an impact on both donors and non-donors. Also, remember to update your website with any news and share raw data.
When you share impact with donors, include an impact matrix. A solid impact matrix calculates the per-dollar impact that donors are having. This breaks down your nonprofit’s larger goals into micro-goals that are simpler for donors to comprehend.
For example, sharing with donors that you have a $50,000 goal for raising money to provide access to books and educational materials for lower-income children in your community may be overwhelming. Instead, break it down and inform them that one 25-dollar donation will provide books for one child for a full school year.
Share impact with donors promptly and be specific in your goals. Doing this shows transparency and is a great way to build strong relationships and increase revenue.
Maintain Open Communication
Donors want to hear from you, and they want to hear from you often. Therefore, maintaining open communication with donors is pivotal and should be a key part of your overall marketing plan.
Maintaining communication doesn’t mean bombarding your donors with daily or weekly emails (you don’t want your emails to be marked as spam) because, today, there are so many ways to communicate. Let’s explore how to engage with donors through different forms of communication.
If you are looking to share impact stories with a specific donor, direct communication is the best way to do this. Direct communication means phone calls, a newsletter (which can be mailed or sent electronically), a thank you letter or email with the success story incorporated in it, or even a personalized video message thanking them for their contribution.
If a donor donated to a specific campaign, send them frequent updates on campaign progress. As for sharing success stories, include photos or videos to illustrate the progress or the outcomes.
Create a thoughtful move management strategy to help implement your donor communication. When forming this strategy, your focus must remain on sharing impact in different ways that connect with your donors emotionally. Building a relationship with donors that is based on strong communication will increase the likelihood of long-term giving and revenue growth.
Sharing success stories with raw data, shining the spotlight on a donor’s contribution, being timely in sharing the impact, and maintaining communication are 4 excellent ways to engage with donors. This lays the foundation for long-term, solid relationships with donors and revenue increase for your nonprofit.
Holley Snaith is a writer with 5+ years’ experience in the nonprofit sector. She began her career in the industry at the Eleanor Roosevelt Center in Hyde Park, managing the annual Girls’ Leadership Worldwide program. At the Richard Nixon Foundation, Holley served as a Development Associate, overseeing donor relations and working with the team to close major capital campaigns. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration with a certificate in Leadership in Public Service and Nonprofit Administration.