Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Uncategorized.

At the Giving Institute Summer Symposium earlier this month, one topic addressed by a panel of philanthropists was the use outcome measurements in cultivating donors.

These philanthropists agreed that while measuring success is important, and major funders expect nonprofits to report outcomes, simply reciting a litany of data that’s important to you isn’t an effective way to engage potential donors.

Instead, they said donors want to have a conversation with you. In making what they consider to be an investment in a nonprofit, donors want to know what they can expect as a return on that investment. Your measurements are part of that, sure, but the conversation needs to be broader.

Yes, you want donors to know what success means to your organization, but you also need to listen to what success means to your donors. Then let them know how their gift will help you achieve that.

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2 Responses to “Let’s Talk Outcomes—But Also Listen”

  1. Mary

    Very well Wendy… I believe outcomes are as important as well as lessons learned. I have a question though, how does small non profits that are authentic and with great outcomes (despite the financial constraints) attract foundations / grantors to continue growing their outcomes/measures?
    Any forums or networks to join for an opportunity to be mentored by organizations that are doing good in the world?

    • Robin Paez

      Thanks for your question Mary. There’s a lot of easily accessible information on foundations and what they support. The first step is to determine which ones may be a good fit to partner with your organization. Next, I would schedule a conversation with someone at the foundation to confirm fit and make sure the foundation’s guidelines and application process meet your ability to provide the data. As far as groups who could support you in this process, The Association of Fundraising Professionals has always been my go to source both for professional development and for networking with organizations that may be like your own. All the best! Wendy


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