One of the most important key steps to retaining donors, especially first time donors that are retained at dismal rates, is reporting back the impact of their generous gift(s).

Donor Voice found that three of the top seven reasons why donors stay loyal is directly tied to outcomes:

  • 1. Donor perceives your organization to be effective in trying to achieve its mission.
  • 5. Donor is given the feeling that he or she is part of an important cause.
  • 7. Donor receives information showing who is being helped.

Earlier in the year I wrote about how charity: water updated me on the progress of a well project that my gift funded in part. They consistently rise above the norm in showing how to demonstrate the impact of every single donor’s donation.

Recently I received word that a well that my gift helped fund was completed. Yes, even for a $10 gift made several months back I received an email showing how I impacted the lives of 518 people in Wolo Tondo, Niger.




Within this email were several places to click into for further details. Each click allowed me the donor to be more proud of just what my gift was doing.

Here is what the See Impact blue box revealed:


Notice just what I am able to see in beautiful easy to read graphics and text virtually all of the items allowing further drill down for more details and to spur further interest:

Here is what is shown if I click on Dollars to Projects:


This is a page that every nonprofit can have a variation of on their website.

It fully explains in an easy to understand manner how each new project unfolds step by step.

Not only does it make me feel wonderful about my involvement, it creates a high level of trust and spurs on even more involvement in the future without a direct ask. Notice how this allows them to get PERSONAL with thousands and thousands of donors through the use of technology and planning.


Finally, the gentle ask does come in at the bottom of every page by placing a Start a Campaign now button.

When clicked, I am moved right into a wizard allowing me to begin a real campaign by stating a financial goal that is literally tied into the impact it will have on a certain number of people.


The completion of a project, wherein impact has been clearly communicated, is the perfect time to ask for another gift.

After seeing all of the above, I hope you agree with me that charity: water has provided an outstanding way to share impact as well inviting further involvement! Perhaps, other nonprofits can improve upon this example or have already done just that.

How does your organization communicate impact? Let me know in the comments below!

gift acknowledgment program

Jay Love

Jay Love

Co-Founder & Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang
A 30+ veteran of the nonprofit software industry, Jay Love co-founded Bloomerang in 2012. Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth. Prior to starting eTapestry, Jay served 14 years as President and CEO of Master Software Corporation. MSC provided a widely used family of database products for the non-profit sector called Fund-Master. He currently serves on the board of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and is the past AFP Ethics Committee Chairman. Jay is also the author of Stay Together: How to Encourage a Lifetime of Donor Loyalty.