Clear Communication with Donors / Partners


Rohit Bhargava has a new book out called Likeonomics: The unexpected truth behind earning trust, influencing behavior and inspiring action.

Here are his tips on telling the truth for good.

1. Tell the truth about yourself:  “Help connect donors and supporters with the REAL PEOPLE behind the work that the organization does.  Nonprofits typically think in terms of showing the real people who are helped, but not the people doing the helping.  The iPhone has two types of camera – the one that you point outwards and the one that you can point at yourself.  We need to get better at using the second one,” he says.

2. Tell the truth about what you need: “Get better about sharing the truth behind what really matters and what really doesn’t,” he says.  “For example, the Salvation Army can do a great job of getting people to donate all kinds of clothes, but during the summer they generally have more need for summer clothes, and in the winter it’s the opposite.  Why not tell people that?  You won’t, of course, turn down any donations.  But just be making your real needs more obvious, you might encourage people to donate more.

Great advice.  Being truthful is hard.  Bhargava says the truth is so often ugly, inconvenient, hard to see and it makes you vulnerable.  But don’t be afraid of it.


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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One Response to Clear Communication with Donors / Partners

  1. Gary, your blogs are always so applicable to our nonprofit. I think we do a pretty good job about being transparent about ourselves but not always about our current specific needs. We’ll work on that. Thanks.

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