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.