Communicating past achievements in fundraising marketing

A single success isn't the end of a nonprofit's mission, but it can help future fundraising efforts.
Date Published
09/30/2015

After fundraising success, there are numerous people who want to hear your good news. Your nonprofit organization has donors, volunteers and community members who want to know how their efforts made a difference in a cause.

Accomplishments should be moments of celebration, but your nonprofit has to treat this information like any other messaging opportunity. When sending good news for marketing reasons, the communication should be detailed, emotional, appreciative and inspiring.

Define your success
Your nonprofit is probably dedicated to a mission without easy answers, so when do you know you’ve hit a success? You want to create small goals for each activity, log the expected outcomes in a software solution and compare results to projections.

The Nonprofit Hub suggested a variety of opportunities for measuring success. You should compare how yearly fundraising goals compared to previous efforts. You could track increases or decreases in social media sharing or the size of your average gift. Basing accomplishments on facts and figures gives you evidence you can share with audiences that indicates your organization is heading in the right direction.

Nonprofit software tools have features to help you share information. Using technology that measures and compares data, you can turn financial increases or audience outreach numbers into graphs or other visible materials.

The stories behind accomplishments
Not every potential audience is primarily interested in financial information. People who contribute their time and money to  your organization want to see how their efforts really helped needy people and important causes.

You should share stories of people, locations and events that were successful due to your nonprofit’s influence. Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog suggested you should show achievements rather than tell. If for example, you raise money to provide children with school books you shouldn’t just say how much money was collected. You need to show donors pictures of kids reading new books and thank you videos from the students who were helped.

Full of gratitude
Your nonprofit doesn’t reach success without participation from donors and volunteers. Every bit of marketing material that communicates your organization’s achievements should reference the people who made them possible.

Sending thank-you notes to donors after nonprofit success is not just kind, it can benefit marketing efforts. The Nomensa technology blog said people are more likely to share materials that mention specific contributors by name on social media pages. Donors reminded of past participation in fundraising are more likely to give again. Thank-you notes demonstrate your success and your commitment to those that support you.

Call to action
In the nonprofit industry, victory doesn’t mean the challenge is over. A successful fundraiser can provide capital for one of your projects or a short time period, but you need to keep future demands at the forefront of your efforts.

When sharing success with the public, you need to balance information on what you’ve achieved against what still needs to be done. You can use the success to show how funds are efficiently used and close the communication with a call to action, according to Kivi’s Nonprofit Communication Blog. The final bit of information could ask for contributions to achieve similar goals in new projects or continued success in the current mission. 

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