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What’s missing from your impact measurement?
Are you failing to provide funders with the crucial evidence that will place your application firmly on the ‘yes’ pile?
Is a lack of evidence of impact holding your fundraising back?
I speak to a lot of people who are frustrated that their applications for funding are too frequently rejected because they are unable to provide sufficient evidence of the difference that the project is making (or intends to make).
Many fundraisers can tell a good story and roll out a few testimonials from grateful beneficiaries about what a “lifeline” their service is (oh my gosh, funders must be so bored of the word “lifeline”!).
But many lack the tangible evidence of what has changed for the broader group of beneficiaries.
Others have a few good stats up their sleeve, but it is presented in such a dry way that the numbers become instantly forgettable.
A recent evidence review* by Third Sector Research Centre concluded that:
“Much of the data that is generated by charities is deemed to be largely irrelevant to donors.
According to the research, the two barriers experienced by major donors and funders are:
- Difficulty in accessing relevant and high-quality data
- Lack of understanding of that information.
Successful fundraisers are able to create an emotional response and back it up with logical reasons for why the funder should invest in their project or service.
They then present the words and data in an accessible and inspiring way. See an example of great data visualisation (even if I do say so myself!) in this infographic of my evaluation of Nightstop UK, which I recently discovered was featured on the Better Evaluation website.
Many funders may draw on scoring matrixes but the decisions are ultimately made by human beings. And people make decisions based on emotion, backed up by logic.
The logical information that most charities are still failing to provide is, will it make a difference?
The difference is typically measured through outcomes and impact data (see here for the six types of data to capture).
Make it memorable and fundable!
If your organisation is relying on stories with no data about the difference you make, you may inspire people with an affinity to your cause to donate, but you are unlikely to provide a logical basis that successfully persuades funders and donors to award a large grant or gift.
Similarly, if your applications and reports are full of dry numbers you’re unlikely to inspire funders to make a substantial investment. Without visuals, the words and data can completely fall flat.
Successful fundraisers have access to all three:
Robust data + inspiring stories + engaging visuals = memorable and fundable.
I can help you to capture robust data and inspiring stories, and then present this beautifully within an impact report and infographics within the Impact Accelerator for Fundraising.
The programme has been designed especially for fundraisers of small and medium charities to get the evidence needed to put funding applications firmly on the ‘yes’ pile.
Click the link below for further details.
Find out about the Impact Accelerator for Fundraising
FOUNDER & LEAD CONSULTANT
Emma has first-hand experience of the thrills and terrors of charity leadership. Dedicated to the non-profit sector for 21 years, Emma has both depth and breadth of experience as a CEO, Consultant, Trustee and Chair, Fundraiser and Grants Assessor.
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