Turn Donors Into Advocates Through Regular Impact Updates

David Kulivan, Senior Consultant

Several years ago, I was sitting in the office of the president of a large corporate donor. As I began discussing some significant activities and recent accomplishments of the organization, he politely interrupted me and said, “I don’t need to know all the details. I know you are doing great work; that’s why we give.” Through years of relationship-building and personalized updates, he understood our impact. And we achieved that by committing to a few regular processes:

  • Sharing impact with a donor begins with understanding them and their motivation for giving. Track this information in your database and provide updates relevant to their interests. Share news stories, op-eds, or other media that highlight the work your organization is doing. Tailor donor updates so they capture what is most valuable and salient to an individual supporter.
  • Don’t wait until it’s time to prepare for the next solicitation visit before you connect with a donor. Plan regular touches throughout the year to keep them apprised of the important work they are making possible.
  • Utilize your organization’s experts to provide firsthand information and insight. Your donors may appreciate getting “inside baseball” information from the folks actually implementing your programs. Likewise, if there are individuals who benefit from your organization’s work, look for ways to connect them with donors, like at a reception or annual gala.
  • Don’t neglect your organization’s website. It may be the “individual” your donors interact with most. Work with your communications team to ensure it effectively speaks to donors and highlights your most important achievements.
  • Finally, when is the last time you read your organization’s mission and vision statements? It may be time to dust them off and update them to reflect the work you are doing and the world you are trying to create.

Sharing impact with your donors does more than help position you for the next ask. It is a concrete way to demonstrate gratitude and let donors know that they are achieving their vision through their support for your organization’s work. If you want to learn more ways to share impact with your donors, let the team at AC Fitzgerald be your guide.

David Kulivan serves as Senior Consultant at AC Fitzgerald. He uses his expertise in development strategy, relationship management, and corporate partnerships to fast-track his clients toward success.

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