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Show Impact

How Do You 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
Fundraising Possibility is in the Air

Possibility Is In The Air

The weather is warmer than ever, it’s light out earlier, and before we know it, the first day of spring will be here. Everything feels fresh and new once the weather is warm enough to not wear a coat out of the house in the morning. Don’t you agree? It feels like possibility is in the air.

And with possibility comes the opportunity for fundraising. While this can be a challenging appeal season, it’s also an opportunity to harness that feeling of possibility and be more creative with a campaign in order to bring in the essential funds that support our communities.

Two months ago, in January, I had the pleasure of speaking at the CASE District 1 Conference, introducing keynote speaker Dr. Talithia Williams of Harvey Mudd College. I told the crowd of more than 600 about an appeal success story of one of BCG Connect’s educational partners, Regis College, a university in the Boston area. This campaign was creative, ambitious, and very successful.

Every time I tell this story it tugs on my heart. And since the best fundraising campaigns reach both your head and heart, this is an all-star.

Below is an excerpt of the speech:

A few years ago, Regis launched a campaign to fund the full cost of iPads for all current undergraduate and graduate students. They would be given new iPads upon entering school and when they graduated they would take the iPads along with them on their next adventures.

As we all know, the cost of technology can be a serious hurdle for many young people, and Regis wanted to ensure that all of their students had equal access to this technology, no matter their economic status.

BCG Connect worked with Regis on this campaign to create personalized, targeted, direct mail marketing that honed in on the message of the need for universal and upgraded technology for all students on campus and how donors could make an impact on that need with their donations. Additionally, the campaign focused on prospects under the $1,000 level in order to try to engage that alumni group further.

Approximately 2,500 past and prospective donors were solicited as a part of this campaign.

The appeals had designs and imagery based on the graduation decade of the potential donor and the story was told through an emphasis on the advancements in technology since the donor’s graduation decade.

If you graduated in the 1980’s, you received this appeal – you can see how the photo from is both similar and different from that of the one from with the current Regis students and the iPads:

Regis Comparison iPads

The campaign was so successful that Regis was able to fully fund iPads for their current students long before the close of the campaign. Through those 2,500 appeals, Regis raised more than $51,000. By the close of the campaign, iPads for all future students were also fully funded ensuring that essential education technology would be available to Regis students no matter their financial hurdles and easing one of the many roadblocks students encounter on their way to success.

Our personalized, targeted, direct mail marketing for this campaign helped fuel the school’s fundraising to bring greater technological resources to their community. And since then, all Regis’ undergraduate and graduate students are given a new iPad when entering the school and then take it with them after graduation to keep using as a tool along their journey.

We at BCG Connect are thrilled to have executed this successful campaign with Regis, and so many other campaigns with other educational partners, strengthening their fundraising, and helping their communities in such broad strokes. We truly believe in the investment each of you have in your schools and communities and we look forward to helping strengthen your campaigns in the future.

As we go further into the warm weather, use your past successes to help fuel your creative drive this spring!

Looking for more inspriation? Check out our portfolio for more great ideas and contact us to learn more about how BCG Connect helped Regis strengthened this campaign.

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BCG Staff Writer