We received a $30,000 grant from the Baker Foundation.
ReadingWorks just started a tutoring program at Eastside High School.
These are okay on one level, but don’t answer the question – How are you making a difference for the people you serve?
Why is this important?
Why is it important that Eastside High School now has a tutoring program? Maybe it’s because 70% of their students are two grade levels behind in reading and your program can help boost their skills.
Of course, publicly acknowledging your major funders is important, but what will that grant be used for? How will it help people?
Speak your donor’s language
Then they wrote about developing treatments “of precisely targeted radiation to locate and destroy small, early stage lung tumors. That means less pain, fewer side effects, and faster recovery time for patients.”
Okay, there’s some passive voice in there, but it’s fairly easy to understand. The organization could have gotten overly technical. I think they gave a good example of how this treatment helps their patients battle this dreaded disease.
You need good stories
A great way to show your donors how you are making a difference is to tell a story, and the best stories are about the people you serve. I know they are harder to get, but this is what your donors want to hear.
When you tell a story, introduce a protagonist – an individual or family- and give them a name. You can change their names to protect their privacy.
Your story will continue with a challenge and end with how your donors helped make you make a difference. How to Simplify Your Nonprofit’s Story to One Paragraph
Show your donors how they are helping you make a difference
If you are communicating with current donors, don’t forget to thank them and let them know that they are a key to your success. After all, you wouldn’t be able to make a difference for the people you serve without their support.
How is your organization making a difference?
Photo by Bob McElroy US Army via Flickr
2 thoughts on “Show Your Donors How You Are Making a Difference”
Wonderful points Ann! I particularly like how you've advised explaining why an organization's stats are important! I also encourage my clients to report on their progress relative to the long-term goals of their organization or cause. This helps give greater context for the donor and the impact that their gift is making on the larger issues, or how badly more support is needed. Thanks for sharing!