Wise Donors – Thoughtful Givers

The Impact Indicators

A number of donors — we would call them “careful givers” or “thoughtful givers” — review their giving practices at the end of each year and decide whether to make changes in the year to come. These are not necessarily emotional, spur-of-the-moment donors; rather, they think and plan.

In order to hang on to these high-quality donors, it’s crucial for a ministry to focus on results at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. How has the ministry impacted lives this past year? How have the donor’s gifts made a difference? These impact indicators can include dramatic stories told in regularly scheduled appeal letters, or in special inserts in those packages. An “annual report” can communicate results powerfully. Thank-you letters accompanying donation receipts can include stories of lives touched through the ministry and other indicators of impact. Emails containing nothing but testimonies of lives touched through the ministry, or praise reports reflecting the impact of the ministry (and thereby the donor’s contributions), can be highly effective without being terribly expensive.

 What donors are saying…

“We are very sensible and logical about what we are doing. It isn’t an emotional feel-good thing, that we want to give this because it makes us feel good. That is what the world does…. The world gives money because it makes them feel good…. Scripture talks about giving to the poor and Jesus asking, ‘When did you feed me or clothe me?’ A lot of organizations will use that to pull on the heart strings. We are a little bit more logical and sensible than that. We want to know exactly how that money is being spent and who is getting it and where it is going.”

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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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