Giving Compass' Take:
- This article originally appeared on Medium on July 28, 2017.
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With over 1.5 million nonprofits organizations in the U.S. alone, the social sector has been hit hard by the sharp decline in individual contributions and overall donor fatigue evidenced in recent years.
Now more than ever, each nonprofit desperately needs to prove that they are the best vehicle to execute their mission; doing so means collecting hard data, running efficient operations, developing innovative programs, as well as exhibiting the utmost professionalism and transparency.
The unfortunate reality is that too many nonprofits just aren’t moving the needle fast enough; their work, although admirable, doesn’t connect the dots that prove community transformation is tied to monetary contributions. This doesn’t mean that communities aren’t being impacted by the multitude of nonprofits serving it, rather it means that a substantive, or deep impact, requires their congregation.
If you are an employee of a nonprofit, you represent some of the hardest-working professionals in any sector. You work notoriously long hours, received limited compensation and endure very emotional circumstances; in all, the nonprofit sector is certainly not a field for the faint of heart.
Still, in these tough economic times your nonprofits’ obligation to its supporters and responsibility to its served population is achieving and sustaining, unprecedented results.
So often nonprofits define their results by their efforts. Common examples of impact may be: 200 students served or 3,000 meals delivered. The problem with these statements is that they do not prove impact, only effort. To prove impact, nonprofits must go further.
The latter questions address indicators most important to donors, because philanthropists are not donating to you, or to your mission, they’re investing in its fulfillment.