22nd October, 2015

Can communicating impact save fundraising’s bacon?

Fundraising. Oh boy, it’s having a rough time of it, reputation wise.  Let’s move away from the rights and wrongs about various fundraising practices and look at what can be done to salvage reputation amongst our supporters.


I checked through my emails last month from charities that I donate to.  Unsurprisingly, 3 out of 5 made no mention of the impact of their work (made possible through my donation, and others), but I have to give a shout out Amnesty and Freedom From Torture for a nice account of the difference made.  However, the household name international development charity I support made no mention of their work, the impact it’s having, or even a thank you for my monthly donation in their communications in October – they did, however, ask me to raise funds for them.  Not good.

So maybe the timing is out and if I took a snapshot over a year the findings would be different, but one thing is for sure, the two organisations who did tell me about the difference made created a warm glow.  I feel good about having enabled two torture survivors to have a holiday and helped to prevent the rape of two girls in India.

Why don’t more fundraisers communicate impact on a regular basis, when showing the difference their money makes can tap into the emotional brain?

Here’s my checklist of what every donor communication should contain:

  1. Thank you for your donation
  2. This is the work we have been able to do as a result of it
  3. This is the difference this work has made

Come on fundraisers, let’s show people how wonderful fundraising can be, by showing the difference that it makes.

Get in touch if you’d like some help communicating impact to your supporters


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