How Do You Show Impact?

Show Impact

One of the questions that gets passed around within the nonprofit development world is: how do you convert a non-donor to a donor? And the answer that is commonly floated is: show the impact of their gift.

I know what you’re thinking:
But that seems so abstract.
And time consuming.
How do you show the impact of every gift?
How do you really show impact?
What do donors really want to see?

And then you’re down a rabbit hole of everything you’ll have to put in visual form, everything on your website you would have to change to really show impact, and suddenly you’re overwhelmed. And that’s on top of everything else on your (already overfull) plate.

Pfew! Take a deep breath.

I’m here to help. Let me guide you through BCG Connect’s 5 step process:

Step 1: Don’t get overwhelmed! You’re a professional, you’ve got this handled (that’s how you ended up here, looking for help, right?). Keep reading!

Step 2: Choose one campaign to start with and show the impact of a new donor’s gift to illustrate it.

BCG Connect worked with Hopkins School, an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school for students in grades 7-12 in New Haven, CT, on their campaign to acquire new donors via their fiscal year end campaign. By creating a personalized message for these appeals, Hopkins spoke directly to these non-donors and showed the impact of a first gift.

Step 3: Remember that people donate to people – so, show donors who their donation affects & impacts.

Working with Hopkins to show the vibrancy of their student body – who are directly impacted by the donations made by new donors – BCG Connect featured a collage of the people at Hopkins to draw donors in to the appeal.

BCG Connect featured a collage of the people at Hopkins to draw donors in to the appeal

Step 4: Make a simple and concrete ask of the donor, then tell them how this multiplies over all new donors giving, to show how every $1 matters.

The inside of Hopkins’ appeal clearly lays out the impact of a $25 gift: not only is the panel clean and easy to read (especially important since our attention spans are now shorter than a goldfish), it also makes a concrete ask and then shows the larger impact of that gift.

Your gift makes an impact

Step 5: Thank the donor.

If there was a second golden rule of fundraising (after the 1st one: donors don’t give if they’re not asked) it would be: you can never thank your donors too many times. So, thank them and show them who their gift impacts. And then, thank them again when they give.

Thank the donor

Looking for more examples of how to show impact? Check out our portfolio for more great ideas and contact us to learn more about how BCG Connect helped Hopkins strengthen this campaign.


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BCG Staff Writer