• Ron Rescigno

Unless You Tell Them, How Will They Know?

Your organization is pretty great, isn’t it?

I’m assuming your answer to the above question is “yes” or else you wouldn’t be working there, right? Do your donors and other constituents know how great it is? Have you told them? If not, how would they know?

This seems like a no-brainer, but the fact is that donors and would-be donors often wonder how well you’re doing. Donors, in particular, report that they’d like more information that proves (1) how well managed you are and (2) what you did with their gifts of support.

My question to you is this: how well does your nonprofit communicate its effectiveness in terms of impact?

If, in fact, you are doing a good job, even a better job than your competition a mile or so down the road, do you proudly say that? You should!

Let me be clear here. I know I always say don’t make your organization’s accomplishments the focus of your communications to them. I also know I’m always stressing that organizations make it about what donors are doing that allow nonprofits to be so successful.

But there’s an old saying that goes something like this: “It ain’t bragging’ if it’s fact.” So if you’re more efficient than your competition, say it proudly. Just state it through the prism of donors. They are the ones who have allowed you to do x, y, and z. Their support has allowed you to feed 325 hungry people last year or have warming shelters for 41 homeless people in the dead of winter or award however many scholarships to community college students who were considering dropping out of school because they had lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Think about it…when you tell your donors how great you’re doing, you’re really phrasing it in such a (truthful) way that it makes them understand how great they’re doing!