Detailed reporting respects donors of all sizes

Fundraiserofthefuture

I wish all nonprofits would do this, but almost nobody does: actually tell donors where their money goes. Not in the form of a pie-chart of the entire budget, but what one donor’s giving specifically made possible.

Hip online fundraiser charity:water is doing it. They have a program called Dollars to Projects that actually tells donors, Here’s the specific project you helped make possible.

Donors of even modest gifts can track their gift to a specific single project. They get its name, the type of project, how many people it reaches, some background context and photos, and who else donated to it (most of them seem to be anonymous). Donors can even find their project on Google Maps.

Here’s an example report.

I wish this wasn’t noteworthy. I wish most nonprofits were doing this for their donors. That would help overcome one of the most common reasons people don’t give: My gift won’t make a difference. How many donors would say that if they knew they could expect reports like this?

Everyone who’s not doing this (i.e., virtually everyone): Take charity:water’s example. Treat all your donors with the respect that’s due them. Figure out how to report what their gifts make possible!


Comments

6 responses to “Detailed reporting respects donors of all sizes”

  1. Mary Penn Avatar

    How does this apply to nonprofits that are not project-based? Our nonprofit has basically one general program, not multiple independent projects. Sure, you can hold up charity water’s fancy report page as a good model for some, but it won’t work for everyone.

  2. Mary Penn Avatar

    How does this apply to nonprofits that are not project-based? Our nonprofit has basically one general program, not multiple independent projects. Sure, you can hold up charity water’s fancy report page as a good model for some, but it won’t work for everyone.

  3. Hi Jeff, have you seen A Child’s Right ProvingIt platform? http://www.achildsright.org/proving You’ll want to have a look. And they’re local! Go Tacoma!

  4. Hi Jeff, have you seen A Child’s Right ProvingIt platform? http://www.achildsright.org/proving You’ll want to have a look. And they’re local! Go Tacoma!

  5. Nicely done. Being a nonprofit adoption agency, we have privacy issues to consider, so can’t do something so full blown. However, for the past two years (since coming on board at the agency) I have been sending out a “here’s what we did with your donation” six months after someone’s gift telling them about some of the clients we have helped (names changed of course). Starting in January, I will tighten the follow up to 4 months after their gift. Every year each donor gets a phone call from a board member or program staff person thanking them for their donation and letting them know how their donation has helped.

  6. Nicely done. Being a nonprofit adoption agency, we have privacy issues to consider, so can’t do something so full blown. However, for the past two years (since coming on board at the agency) I have been sending out a “here’s what we did with your donation” six months after someone’s gift telling them about some of the clients we have helped (names changed of course). Starting in January, I will tighten the follow up to 4 months after their gift. Every year each donor gets a phone call from a board member or program staff person thanking them for their donation and letting them know how their donation has helped.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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