How much impact does your organization make?

That much, you say?

So what?

Oh dang. Somebody just got offended.

You’re thinking about all the wonderful things your nonprofit does. When you tell donors these stories they might say, “wow. That’s so wonderful!”

Then why do you struggle to get them to give consistently?

Most nonprofits don’t have a problem getting a one-time gift, but they can’t figure out how to get an ongoing commitment.

They ask their sustaining donors why they keep giving and they base their marketing decisions based on the opinion of a few major givers or a handful of sustainers.

This is dangerous.

When you do this, you’re putting the future of your sustainer and major gift program at risk.

Here me out. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for their opinion.

What I’m saying is that Donor A might give for totally separate reasons than Donor B. If you’re a typically myopic fundraiser, using confirmation bias (where you look for confirmation of your hypothesis for why people give than actually test it out), then you will definitely struggle with this concept.

Donor A gives a major gift. Donor B gives every month.

They both have different motivations and impact means something completely different to each of them.

When you’re asking each of them why they give, make sure you go deep on their answers. Don’t settle for “we love seeing these children get fed for the first time.”

People aren’t giving because of the actual thing you do. They give because of impact.

The impact is the amount of waves your nonprofit is making in the problem you are solving.

Small impact = small investment.

Big impact = partners for life.

Donors are looking for solutions. NOT people being fed or the environment being protected.

In marketing, we have this saying, “People don’t buy 1/4 inch drill bits. They buy 1/4 inch HOLES!”

People aren’t buying your food bank. They aren’t buying your newest protection program.

They are buying the IMPACT of your program/cause/nonprofit.

Please stop selling your newest program and start selling the impact you are making on the community you serve.