Gifts to Donnors

Donor Impact Series

     “There are lots of things you can tell your donors,

      but what they want to know, above all else, is how

  their gifts are helping you achieve measurable results.”

            – Penelope Burk, Communication is the Ask


Today in our 3-Part, Donor Impact Series we’ll dive into industry-leading Introduction and Summary of Activities tips; to set you up for funding and reporting success!

All Donor Impact Reports contain the same basic elements – an introduction, summary of activities, impact stories and data, financials, and next steps.


Begin your donor impact report by acknowledging the funder’s gift and reiterating your gratitude. Then, provide a summary of all you’ve accomplished over the past year, thanks to the foundation’s support.

Don’t get into specifics here. Do make bold, compelling statements about the grand impact of the donor’s dollars. And be sure to acknowledge if they’ve funded your charity in the past.

If their contribution was part of a fundraising initiative, consider including the total dollars raised here, too. Many funders like to see how their grant fit into the larger fundraising effort. Plus, you’ll build instant credibility showing you accomplished the goal you set out to achieve.

Project Activities (Summary of Activities)

Next, move into Project Activities, your chance to share all the work you’ve completed over the past year and describe how their funding made it happen. Avoid vague or broad statements. Be specific.

Make sure your report answers the following 5 key-questions:

  1. When did project activities start?
  2. Who was involved?
  3. What were the key milestones and when were they accomplished?
  4. What resources were needed (equipment, supplies, personnel, etc.)?
  5. Were there any hiccups along the way? If so, how did you overcome them?

Help your donors see how much goes into tackling the world’s biggest problems by telling them all you’ve achieved. And remember to connect everything back to the support that made it possible.

You’re off to a great start! Stay tuned for next week’s post as we dive into part 2, Impact stories and Data, in this 3-part series on Dazzling Donor Impact Reports!

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