What donors want to hear from your NGO

Nobody likes being asked for more money all the time, not even donors. Every NGO is different, but all NGOs have a similar job to always make sure their donors know they are appreciated.

1. They want to be thanked.

This one is the most basic. We say “thank you” when a person picks up a pen you dropped, when your friend did you a favor, or when we receive a birthday gift… Otherwise, we’d be rude. Who likes rude people, let alone a rude nonprofit?

Some NGOs send personalized emails to their donors; others prefer to mail a handwritten card or even a small gift. Either way, a little note of gratitude goes a long way! (And don’t wait months before you give it!)

2. They want to know that they made an impact.

Let’s say you recently ran a fundraiser to build houses in a small community.

Show your donors what has happened since then: how many construction materials you were able to get, how many rooms you have built, how many families have settled into their new homes so far, and how these families’ lives have improved so far.

Take pictures and write about the projects, the families, and even the people who do the construction work. Share them to your donors (via your e-newsletter or social media page) — it’s a great way to let them see the positive effect that their support has made on other people.

3. They want you to be honest.

Donors need to trust your NGO before they even think about helping you. If you’re a new organization with your certification still on the way, don’t lie to your donors about already having one.

If you managed to send 50 kids to school, don’t twist the story and say you sent 100.

If you made an error in a report, acknowledge and fix it right away.

The sense of trust between donor and NGO is vital, one that takes very little to break these days, so take good care of it.