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5 Ways to Show Transparency to Donors

For nonprofits, transparency is key. You must educate the public about the organization and the work it does to establish your brand and build trust. By doing this, you will attract new volunteers and donors. On top of that, 81% of people agree that they need to know a “great deal” about a nonprofit before they choose to support it.

Need some help increasing awareness and establishing trust? Here are 5 ways to show transparency:


Share Your Story


Everyone loves a good story. Sharing how your nonprofit came to be, how it has grown and what you have learned along the way. This helps make the work your nonprofit does more relatable. Do not be afraid to discuss the challenges you face or have faced. Donors may appreciate your vulnerability and respond with empathy.

You can share your story on your website, social media and in communication with donors and volunteers (in-person or through emails, for example). Hosting a “Throwback Challenge” by posting photos or videos from your nonprofit’s early days can invite you supporters and followers to share their stories or photos from that time as well. You can also send participants fun promotional giveaways like t-shirts, keychains or car decals, imprinted with your logo to thank them for their support.


Share Annual Reports


Show off the great work your nonprofit is doing by sharing a comprehensive, thoughtfully designed annual report with your donors and volunteers. Consider including:

  • Financials: Share relevant financial info in an eye-catching, easily digestible format, such as colorful tables or charts.

  • Goals: Go over the objectives you hope to meet in the coming months or years. Translate those goals into specific actions you want to achieve, such as how many free meals have been served or vaccinations for shelter animals you want to provide.

  • Impact: Highlight stories that outline specific ways your nonprofit has helped others in the past year. Include quotes and photos to make these stories come alive.

  • Lessons Learned: If your nonprofit fell short from meeting a previous goal, be honest about it. Share what happened and outline how you plan to get back on track.

Share your annual report on your website and consider printing and sending copies to high-profile stakeholders, such as your board members, donors and volunteers. Include a promotional gift, such as a branded tote bag, to show them your appreciation.


Communicate Effectively


Donors appreciate getting ongoing updates about what your nonprofit is up to. We suggest sending out a quarterly or monthly newsletter with updates about major initiatives and goal progression. Provide behind-the-scenes content about the day-to-day operations on social media. You should also publish profiles about your board members and staff to provide more background about the nonprofit’s inner workings.


Provide Receipts


Let your donors choose between electronic or paper receipts. Be sure to include all relevant financial information, including the amount given, the date and if or how much of their donation is tax-deductible. For a personal touch, include a handwritten thank-you note to let your donors know how much you appreciate their support.


Keep Your Website Updated


While this may seem obvious, it is an effective way of keeping important information available and easily accessible. Keep your staff directory up-to-date, complete with their contact information and title, so that donors know who to contact when they have questions or concerns.


Also, make sure your most recent annual reports are linked, as well as updated progress toward current financial goals. You will also want to provide a calendar of upcoming events and registration deadlines to keep volunteers and members of the community in the know.


Earn Trust And Generate Support


By sharing your story, showcasing impact and utilizing clear and open communication, your organization can be clear about its efforts to improve the community and the world.


You will build trust and gain new supporters by sharing your story, showcasing impact, utilizing clear and open communication. Your nonprofit just needs to be clear about it’s efforts to improve the community and the world.

Need someone to bounce ideas off of? Schedule a FREE 30-minute exploration call with our founder, Gina Stockdall, to see how you can improve your nonprofit’s transparency to gain new donors.





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