January 30, 2020

Impact Reporting for Donors: More Than a “Thank You”

Donor retention requires more than a thank you - it requires illustrating the difference, or impact, the donation was able to accomplish. Whether for ongoing donor communications or a strategic capitol campaign, using your impact data wisely can in turn have an impact on how much you raise.


When you give a gift, it’s always nice to know whether the gift was used and enjoyed. That kind of information is helpful, and not only for the knowledge that we’re great gift-givers, or that we have excellent taste: It also helps us determine what we give in the future. 

Similarly, when an organization, foundation, or individual gives a monetary gift to a nonprofit organization, they like to know that their donation made an impact. Impact reporting, as this is called, enables donors to see that their gift made a difference, and it can be crucial information when the time comes for them to make decisions about future donations.

Tell the Story with Data

The most impactful way to show a gift’s impact is with high-quality data. Data, in the forms of tables, charts, graphs, or just a few well-chosen figures, directly shows your donors how their generosity translated into action. (Not sure what information to hone in one? Check this list of KPIs you should be tracking.)

Whether you have a fully-staffed marketing department or a simple, elegant email newsletter, invest some time in showing your donors how far their dollars went. Showing your data is even better than a thank you card; it’s a reminder of your donor’s crucial role in the work you do ― and a reminder of how integral they are to that work continuing. 

Remind Donors of Their Importance

Clearly-presented impact data will also show your stakeholders how much you depend on their continued support. Presenting proof of impact can inspire your donors to keep giving. It could even inspire them to give at a higher level. In other words, if you show them that they’re part of the story, they will be more likely to want to see what happens next. 

There’s another good reason to have impact data on hand and easily accessible: a donor may ask for it at any time, and you don’t want to be caught by surprise. They may just need the information for a routine financial assessment, or they may be considering directing their funds elsewhere. Regardless of the reason, it’s crucial to have the ability to generate that data whenever you ― or your donors ― need it. 

Raise Your Nonprofit’s Profile 

Comprehensive, accurate impact data can improve your reputation and increase buzz, both in person and online. Donors rely on websites like Guidestar, Charity Navigator, GlobalGiving, and  ImpactMatters to ensure that their money is spent wisely. In this age of information, data talks, and you want to make sure that yours says the right thing. 

Impact reporting is the story of how a donation becomes action. That story can be shared across a range of media, but sometimes the most important media a decidedly low-tech one: word of mouth. Give your donors a story that they’re proud to tell, and we predict that more people will want to be part of that story. 

Make Your Story Heard

Grant management software  can accurately track and summarize impact data for nonprofit organizations, giving you more time to focus on the valuable work that you do. It allows you to keep all of your data in one secure place, while eliminating common human errors, such as mistakes from manually keying in data. 

Having your data in an automated system also allows you to generate reports when you need them. Look for a software that lets you easily customize and save your views, filter your data, and provide real-time updates on key performance indicators in a form that is easily readable and ready to be sent to your stakeholders. 

Using a grant management software not only shows you your organization’s true impact in the community, it shows your donors how important they are to your mission, and how their support is crucial to continuing to write the story of your organization’s success. 

 

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