6 elements of leverage with your donors

Donors want more bang for their buck. They want $10 of results for every $1 they contribute. Fortunately, nonprofits want to achieve the same thing. Unfortunately, wanting and getting are very often quite different. Still, the quest continues.

In their book “Social Impacts,” Marc J. Epstein and Kristi Yuthas suggested that donors seeking to make an impact can check an organization’s ability to leverage. From the nonprofit’s point of view, leveraging can be accomplished when nonprofits share:

  • Results. Information about their impacts along with their own diagnosis of why their efforts succeeded or failed;
  • Data. Data and metrics of all kinds, such as composite demographic information about clients, information about actions and outcomes and information about performance;
  • Best practices. Processes and policies the organization has developed that have contributed to its success;
  • Innovations. Advances in business models and technologies that can be given or licensed to others;
  • Advocacy. Participation in advocacy organization and initiatives;
  • Reputation. A goodwill asset that can be used to raise the profile and credibility of other organizations and causes, or can be used to garner support or organization in a cause; and,
  • Networks. Conduits for sharing resources and for spreading knowledge or for participating in collective impact issues.