More and more, nonprofits are facing a growing communications challenge with ever more skeptical audiences. Research shows that donors, and millennials especially, are likely to stop donating to a cause if they do not clearly understand the direct impact of their money.
What is ‘Impact’?
Results can be categorized a few different ways – you can have outputs, outcomes, and impact.
- Outputs are units of production – the actual number of hours of work done or clients served.
- Outcomes are the short, medium, and long term changes that happen as a result of your outputs.
- Impact is the ultimate result of your activities, outputs, and outcomes.
Let’s say for example you host a fundraising campaign and use the proceeds to build wells. The output is a well, the outcome is safe clean water, and the actual impact is improved community health.
Connect Donor Dollars to Outputs
A motivation tactic you can use on your fundraising campaign is to show very explicitly what a dollar amount can do.
In their peer-to-peer campaign on FundRazr, Kina connected different donation levels to specific components they planned to include in the school they were building in Nepal. A donor could easily see exactly what their contribution would do for young school girls in Nepal.
Tell Your Best Story
A simple way to be certain that your campaign is rooted in your donor base’s emotions is to build a narrative that anyone visiting your campaign will be taken through as they go through the donation process. Storytelling is the biggest common connector across all people in all places. So when you tell a story, the likelihood that your visitor will invest in you emotionally is much greater than a straightforward presentation of facts.
Use text, images, and video to set the stage for your story, and remember to have an identifiable victim that your supporters can identify and empathize with. It’s still important to include larger statistics, but make sure there is a human connection on an individual level.
This narrative should definitely live on your campaign page, but don’t limit it! Intertwine it with the donor’s entire giving experience.
Keep it Custom
The more detailed your information is about your supporter base, the more you can cater your impact story to them. If you have an operation with multiple outcomes where different people care about different aspects of your work, then it’s important to tell the right story to the right person. Segment your donors by the particular campaign they donated to previously to tell them about their impact and similar campaigns you’re running.
When you are able to successfully communicate the impact of fundraising dollars, you make it easy for donors to return and sign up for recurring donations, and new donors to see the value of contributing to your organization.