To raise more money, nonprofits need to tell donors how the organizations’ work is making a difference, counsels a new fundraising guide.
“Donors say that information about a nonprofit’s approach, expected results, effectiveness, and past performance—in other words, impact information—is most important to them but hardest to find,” write the co-authors of More Money for More Good.
The manual is based on a study that found donors would be willing to shift $15-billion in giving to high-performing nonprofits if they had easy access to good information about the organizations’ work. The study, conducted by GuideStar, the nonprofit online publisher of data on charities, and Hope Consulting, was based on surveys of more than 5,000 donors, 875 donor advisers, and 725 foundation officials.
Giving donors information about the effect of a group’s work doesn’t mean overloading them with research data, says Greg Ulrich, a director at Hope Consulting who co-wrote the guide with Bob Ottenhoff, GuideStar’s former chief executive.
The manual recommends that organizations complete the Charting Impact questionnaire, an effort by GuideStar, Independent Sector, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance to encourage nonprofits to articulate their results more clearly.
“Part of the impact and effectiveness information people want is, What’s your strategy? Why do you think it’s going to work?” says Mr. Ulrich. “Even if there aren’t results, that’s a really useful dialogue to have.”