Why do donors choose to support your ministry – is it an emotional connection? A compelling website? Insightful social media? Those things can all help. But what really drives your ministry fundraising, inspiring most people to give, is proof of your ministry’s meaningful, tangible impact.
The nonprofit consulting ream at Root Cause conducted a study on the giving process and the psychology behind donor motivation. Here’s what the results tell us:
- 75 percent of respondents look for concrete information about a charity’s achievements before making a decision about where to give.
- These potential donors place a high importance on confirming an organization’s success rate and whether it focuses on immediate or long-term changes.
- 51 percent of donors seek out this information when planning to contribute to a charity for the first time.
- Frequently, donors will look to third parties (such as CharityWatch or Charity Navigator) for statistics about overhead costs or organization rankings.
These numbers make it clear that sharing accurate numbers reflecting a nonprofit’s impact is one of the most influential practices an organization can implement to attract new donors and retain current supporters.
You should be proud of your ministry’s accomplishments, so don’t hide them in multi-page reports or obscure webpages. You need to offer impact information willingly and clearly on your website and your donation page so visitors don’t have to deviate to charity trackers or search engines to find information. Remember: If potential supporters leave your donation page without giving, there’s a significant chance that they won’t come back.
Single-page printouts with user-friendly infographics detailing numbers, impact and spending is highly desirable to donors. Root Cause found that 78 percent of potential backers preferred a one-page site or printout with explicit metrics and information. Before making a decision, people appreciate concise facts.
Making donating personal
Nonprofit Quarterly has reiterated the importance of transparency for charitable organizations.
When nonprofits provide metrics and tangible evidence about how they use donations to have a measurable effect on society, it bolsters the nonprofit’s public image and assures donors that they’ve found a trustworthy institution. And of course, organization boards frequently request this data (and if they’re not, they should!) – so you need to have it on hand anyway to keep your organization running smoothly.
As Nonprofit Quarterly notes, a balance must be found between simply tossing out numbers to donors and actively cultivating a relationship with them. Phil Buchanan, a member of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, points out that the difference between business funding and philanthropic donating is in measuring the results. It can be harder to accurately measure the effect a nonprofit has on a project. The return on investment is complicated to determine. This means that your donor relationships require a little more finesse.
New Generation, New Priorities
Alliance Magazine expounds on this idea when it comes to the next generation of big donors.
It is clear that the large group of benefactors currently in their 20s and 30s have different priorities than their parents did. The starkest difference between the two groups is this: The younger generation wants to not just donate, but to also have the biggest impact on a cause as possible. Whereas older generations have tended to focus more on simply feeling good about having the option and means to give to charity.
Alliance asserts that this new generation favors personal engagement, collaboration and hands-on opportunities in lieu of passively sending cash or writing checks. They seem to be results-driven where their parents were journey-driven.
What does this all mean for you and your ministry?
It means that the more focused you are on creating informative, user-friendly graphics and communicating accurate numbers showing what progress has been made by your nonprofit, the more success you will see at building a supporter base, recruiting new donors, and earning more funding and sustainability from current donors.
If that sounds complicated – it doesn’t have to be! You can show your impact by implementing donor management and ministry fundraising software that offers you ways to quickly and easily compile and analyze data and format it into a useful communication tool.
Is that the kind of software you’re looking for? If so, DonorDirect’s Studio Essentials is the place to start. It’s an all-in-one donor management system that will transform your ministry fundraising operations and help you and your team clearly demonstrate your life-changing impact. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you engage your supporters and grow your ministry.