Any nonprofit leader can explain the value of a donation: It’s a donation. It’s money. We need money to fulfill our mission.
All that is true, but in her book “From Chaos to Control,” Sharron Batsch of Batsch Group in Edmonton, Canada argues that a donation is valuable for much more than just the green it pumps into the system. A donation also provides information that is useful right away as well as in the future.
Batsch offers several examples of how donations can be helpful beyond their immediate impact:
- The designated donation. When a donor asks that a gift be used in a specific way, the organization then has information that is useful when running a targeted ask, when selecting individuals for a focus group, when passing out invitations for a specific event or when sending out progress updates.
- The third-party donation. These can be hosted events at which guests give individual donations or a “casual Friday” during which employees kick in a few dollars to wear jeans to work. These events allow an organization to record the dollar value generated by the host organization or individual.
- Participating events and supporting pledges. Recognizing participants (e.g. those who collect pledges for a run/walk) gives an organization a further opportunity for recognition and also solidifies a relationship.