Wise Giving Wednesday: Communicating Charity Impact Across Donor Segments

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calendar icon Jun 12, 2024

Communicating Charity Impact Across Donor Segments

On March 21st, BBB Wise Giving Alliance hosted a Donor Participation program that addressed concerns about the decline in the number of households in the U.S. supporting charity. One of the panels (The full panel remarks can be viewed here.) sought to explore how donors might be more inspired to give by communicating about the charity’s impact. (Barbara O’Reilly, Founder and Principal, Windmill Hill Consulting, and a member of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Board, served as moderator for this discussion and initially asked panelists to explain their views on this issue. How might focusing on different donor segments (e.g., giving levels, donor types, demographics, etc.) be used to better accomplish this goal? She noted that a one size fits all strategy is not effective and donors want to a sense of community.

Jean Accius, President & CEO, Creating Healthier Communities, said that he joined the organization a year ago and knew about its 65-year history of using a workplace giving model. Through goal setting, testing, and developing a case for support, they recognized their call to action to address health inequities across the country and moved the organization from being a workplace transactional organization to one that is more transformative. They no longer see donors as just supporters but as owners of their mission.

Brady Josephson, Vice President, Marketing & Growth, charity:water, noted that his organization was hyper focused on truth and transparency, “Tell people what you are doing, carry it out, and communicate the impact.” charity:water had the advantage of focusing on one thing – clean and safe drinking water in developing countries. Brady added that “One can reverse engineer how charity:water succeeded so much: it removed traditional blockers to giving.” For example, there is an opaqueness to not knowing what a specific developing nation looks like. Address that and help motivate supporters.

Julia Ritz Toffoli, Principal Behavior Designer, Ideas42, explained that donors want to be informed not overwhelmed. They want to be reassured and included, invited into the conversation, as opposed to just broadcasting out to them. She noted the Ikea® effect – that we value something we help create more than just something given to us. Engaging with donors can help achieve this objective and make them lifetime supporters. For more, view the full panel remarks.  

Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving Podcast features BBB Wise Giving Alliance President & CEO, Art Taylor. Art revisits an article that appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about collaboration and provides updates on collaboration activities in the charitable sector.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

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