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Creating Donor Value

It is easy to find a large number of people who agree that donors are valuable. It is hard for them to agree on how to create value for the donors or what value might look like from the donor’s perspective.

Let us define value from the donor’s perspective, donor value, as “the things the organization does or produces that the donor would say are valuable”. How do you create donor value?

First, we should acknowledge that donor value varies from one donor to the next. The organization has a limited number of ways it can create value. It also has a large number of ways it can talk about value. As a result, it is sometimes necessary to express the donor value in different ways for different groups of donors.

One group we were working with expressed donor value as:

Tax deduction

Good stewardship of the donor’s money

Accountability and integrity in tracking the use of the donor’s gift

Helping others

Those are all good responses. However, the same things can be said about every nonprofit. What can you say that distinguishes your organization from all others? Without the distinguishing value, the donor is likely to make a small gift and be easily persuaded by another nonprofit to redirect the gift next year.

Let us assume that the three key concepts in your mission statement are hope, optimism, and perseverance. When embraced by a client, those three concepts can propel the client to success. The client will believe success is possible (hope), believe they personally can be successful (optimism), and work hard to achieve the success they believe in (perseverance).

Here are examples of possible value that come from those concepts:

When the client applies the concept with diligence over a long time, it is possible rise above poverty

When instilled in a young person, they have the tools necessary to excel in school

Shortly after the client embraces those concepts it will be possible for them to achieve an immediate and valuable goal (find a job, face a health challenge, enroll in a GED program, etc.)

The clients become people with a positive attitude and a “can do” spirit (very employable)

Some donors care about the immediate results. Others take a longer view of the change process. All of them will see the value of the mission and realize that a simple gift will permanently change a life.

When a donor becomes aware that their gift is permanently changing a life it is difficult for them to stop giving. They know that if they stop giving someone will suffer. Capturing their heart is the best way to ensure they will be passionate and generous supporters.

Next Step:

Determine the key concepts of your mission statement

Translate those concepts into tangible and valuable results

Collect evidence and anecdotal stories that confirm the results are being created

Express the results in ways that resonate with the donors

Share the client successes with the donors

It is important to remember that value is constantly evolving. Highly valued concepts 10 years ago are commonplace today. Therefore, every year it is necessary to reassess value and determine how to change the internal processes to create additional value. The other nonprofits are also striving for the same competitive advantage. Failure to evolve will result in a failure to retain the donors. However, evolving value will retain donors and attract new ones. Constantly evolving donor value is important to having a sustainable funding stream.

Why is your organization more valuable to donors than any other giving option?

As always, contact Mission Enablers if you want help. We use a special process that offers a guarantee. For more information about our process and guarantee, you can click here.

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