Donations: What Still Needs to be Done?

If you have followed this sequence of posts, you will know how your copy should cover your charity’s

so now you need to make the case for your readers’ continued support.

This is the core of your message.  Your next step will be a request for a donation, so you need to make this convincing.

Describe your new initiatives.  Be specific.  Link to what has gone before where it is relevant.  You might ask for more support for a specific project or for a spin-off project by the same people or for support for a similar project elsewhere.

So, be

  • clear about what you are going to do;
  • specific about what needs to be done;
  • sure offer a breakdown of costs if you can; if people can see what their £25 or £100 donation will purchase it can help then see the value of their contribution;
  • sure to outline your projected outputs and outcomes and
  • absolutely clear about the outcomes as these show the transformation you’re aiming for.

Outputs are the specific things you are going to do with the money.  If you say you’re going to build a school in a particular place, then your donors will expect to see a school in that place within your timeframe.  They can be difficult to quantify, eg research might not promise a specific output.  There might be a cure for a specific type of cancer one day but you may not be able to guarantee it will happen this time.  With something like this you can be specific about the research you will carry out – a cure would be a possible outcome.

Your outcomes answer the question, why?  So, what will the school do for the people who use it or work in it?  Outcomes are in their nature not entirely predictable.  So, a school is likely to help people find better jobs.  But the ideas the pupils and staff come up with once they start work will not be predictable.  People donate towards outcomes not outputs; they want to see the difference your outputs will make to real people.

If you are not sure what your outcomes will be, this need not be a disadvantage.  It adds intrigue to what you’re doing.  In the next post I’ll show you how you can use this to your advantage.

So, have you some interesting outcomes to share?  How have you demonstrated outcomes on your website?

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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