Be Transparent

It’s crucial for the ministry leaders to be transparent. The donor values feedback like “This one fell on its nose.” Or “We hit 80% of what we estimated we would achieve.” Or “This one went out of the park; we exceeded expectations by 12%.” As business leaders, they know that organizations don’t always hit home runs; but they want to be informed of the results. Reporting results builds trust toward the next time you ask this individual for support.

Major donors also want to be kept in the loop along the way. A major project typically takes time to mount. It’s wise to communicate occasional updates to the donor as it develops. FamilyLife vice president Jared Elmquist, for example, works hard to update major donors on the status of projects — the launch of a specialized ministry outreach or resource. Ten of the most powerful words in the world are, “Here’s where we stand; thanks again for making it possible.” Give specifics of the impact — people reached, people fed, whatever the measurement is. Don’t be afraid to talk about problems or challenges when they occur. Be realistic with your major donors.

* Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers.


About Gary Coiro

Nonprofit & Church Leader Nonprofit Leader and Consultant since 2004, following 15 years as a pastor. Competencies include board development, fundraising, staff development and management, strategic planning, church work, Bible teaching, and capital campaigns. Currently consulting and serving on the Church Ministries Management Team for a large multi-cultural evangelical church.
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