Mightycause recently published an interesting infographic called The United States of Giving. There are a lot of points worth pondering in the piece, but what really caught my attention was that only 65% of people polled felt their giving was making an impact. In an ideal world, you would hope that 100% of people who give, either in-kind or financial contributions, would feel like they had done something worthwhile and important. What is missing here?
In thinking about campaigns where I personally felt like I was making an impact, two important features of the process come to mind. First, the fundraising information told me exactly what my donation would do. Second, there was a follow-up process telling me how things turned out, and how my own small donation may have helped. Let’s talk about both of these concepts in a bit more detail.
Previewing Impact Through Your Fundraising Process
The Mightycause Hunger to Hope campaign was, in my opinion, highly effective in part because it told everyone up front exactly what their monetary donations would mean. As I summarized back in October:
- – Just $10 feeds children
- – Just $25 feeds a child in need during school for a half year
This tells people exactly how their donations will be used and exactly what the impact of different levels of donations will be. That not only allows contributors to have a better idea of how much is “enough” when giving, but it also embeds in contributors a feeling that they are indeed making an impact.
Reporting the Results of Your Campaign
The World Hunger Relief Fund does a good job letting contributors and the wider community know how their programs perform; in fact, they offer an interactive map telling you where your donations have gone.
Another great way to show the impact a donation has had is pictures, especially using a shareable photo platform like Instagram. Afghans for Afghans does a very good job of showing women and children in Afghanistan showcasing homemade items that volunteers have made. This connects the recipients to the people that have donated.
Pictures can be used even in cases where the contributions are monetary. These kinds of donations can feel less tangible, and hence perhaps less significant, but showing a picture of a hungry child eating thanks to donations can be a powerful way to say thank you.
Making Your Contributors Feel Important Helps You, Too
One of the keys to building a community around your cause is encouraging people who have supported you to stick around. One of the best ways to do this is to make them feel like what they do to support you really does make a difference. Even sending a Facebook update or a hand-written thank you card can be enough to encourage contributors to consider giving to your cause again.
Are you communicating to your community how important they are to your cause? If you asked your contributors if they knew how they were helping, would they be able to answer without hesitation?
Now is a great time to report to your donors how they have helped you this year and how they can continue to help in 2013.