Effectively communicating your charity's impact is a top priority for all non-profits. But what exactly is it that funders want to know to be reassured that their money is being well spent?
According to a survey by NPC, charity donors are primarily interested in impact – with three in five paying very close attention to how their money is used.
However, it’s not all about showing impact through quantitative data. The key is to balance passion with proof by leading with the societal and emotional impact. And subsequently backing this up with the necessary numbers and figures.
So, what’s the best way to demonstrate your impact to funders? We’ve rounded up our top 4 ways below…
A good impact report will tell your funders what their money achieves and why what you do is so important. They should understand the problem you’re addressing and the impact it has on society, and therefore why their support is crucial.
Your report should be a combination of case studies, testimonials, statistics and so on, and should tell a story. All of your evidence should point back to your vision, mission and values, reinforcing why what you’re doing is so important. And remember to include a ‘thank you’ section so that your funders feel acknowledged.
Impact reports tend to be quite data heavy so pay close attention to how you present the data. For example, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust commissioned us to create a visually engaging outcomes report to tell the story of the work they do. We made it easy to follow for those affected by brain injury directly or indirectly using clear headings and iconography. We also created a suite of brand illustrations to bring to life the Equality and Human Rights Commission's annual report and make it relatable.
Case studies give great first-hand evidence of your cause and can be a great way to illustrate the impact funding can have. They show how your charity’s work can impact real people, making it all the more real and relatable for your funders.
The key to a good case study is to follow a good clear structure. You should start by clearly highlighting the context, then explaining what you did, and what the impact of this was. You can also use video to bring case studies to life. This makes them more engaging and easier for your funders to consume.
Did you know that 57% of people go on to make a donation after watching a charity video? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth infinitely more. And creating video content doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many different options you can pursue, including animation and motion graphics.
Videos are a powerful method of storytelling and can be used to demonstrate the impact your funders’ support has had by showing real-life stories. They can also be a useful tool for communicating heartfelt messages of thanks to make your funders feel valued.
A good example of this is the explainer animation we created for IVCC – a product development partnership working in vector control. IVCC was at the stage of lobbying decision makers in Washington back their pilot programme to help eradicate insecticide resistance, so we created an animation to explain the project clearly and demonstrate the difference funding would make in helping to reduce instance of malaria across the globe.
Don’t forget that there are many offline touchpoints you have at your disposal when it comes to communicating impact to your funders. Events can be a great way to engage funders as they help to create a sense of connectedness and make your funders feel like an integral part of your success. And if in-person events aren’t feasible for you then virtual events can be really effective too. Take a look at our blog on hosting an engaging virtual event here.
Posting direct mail is also one of the most commonly used forms of outreach to funders. As it’s highly targeted, it can be a very useful tool for celebrating a milestone like number of years a donor has supported, a target reached or introducing a one-off project additional funds are needed for. Greenpeace executed this perfectly with their “Fashion Duel” campaign. They created a clever direct mail promotion where they sent a gift box containing a single washing up glove, imprinted with a link to the Fashion Duel challenge – a survey that invited brands to answer questions about their global supply chain.
Need to impress your donors with your impact? Get in touch for help in creating assets to fuel your stakeholders’ passion for your cause.