As a nonprofit, being transparent is crucial to working towards your mission. Whether you rely on volunteers, donors, or both, being transparent and trustworthy is going to help increase the impact of your charity. Here are six ways to build trust with donors and volunteers:
1. Start a Newsletter
This is often something that many nonprofits either forget about or actively choose to ignore. A newsletter helps your supporters know what the impact of their support was. Through informative articles or stories, a newsletter can reinforce the idea that a donor or volunteer had a major impact through their donation of money or time.
This is another critical mistake that many nonprofits make with donors. For many nonprofits, donations are a necessity. For that reason, it’s important to build personal relationships with your donors to increase the chances of future donations. You should be reaching out to your supporters and personally communicating with them. For example, hop on a phone call or Zoom meeting with your donors to discuss the goals of your organization, and how your donors can help you. Similarly, talk with your donors about the potential benefits that they could get from donating to your organization.
3. Say Thank You
After making a donation, many donors may receive absolutely no response from the nonprofits that they donated to. This goes back to the previous point: you NEED to build relationships with your donors if you want to increase donation revenue. Something as simple as sending a thank-you letter or email could help develop a better relationship with your donor, which would expand the impact and reach of your nonprofit.
What did your nonprofit accomplish through the support of your volunteers and donors? While stories can be useful, combining them with useful statistics can significantly increase the trust between you and your donors. What was the ROI for each dollar that your donors gave towards your cause? How many people did you feed? How many animals did you save? These are all important statistics that your donors are looking for in order to see their impact.
This is a big one. As a nonprofit, you need to be upfront about your financials. This includes publicly publishing your Form 990 on your website, discussing executive compensation, accurately tracking expenses, and publishing additional information about your nonprofit through websites such as GuideStar. Publicly discussing this information would ensure that you can be transparent with your financials, which would help your donors gain more trust in your charity. Additionally, make sure that you can tell your potential donors exactly what their money will be used for. Similarly, publicly publishing your financials would also ensure that current and potential volunteers would see you as a trustworthy cause to devote their time to.
6. Don’t Beg
While reading this article, you may have come to the conclusion that donations are very important for your nonprofit. Depending on your situation, this may be true. However, you should not be too pushy or pressure your donors to contribute to your cause. Doing this would hurt your personal relationship with your donors and would risk future donations from your donors. Remember, it is substantially easier to get a donation from a repeat donor than it is to get a donation from a new donor. Donations are gifts, and you should never pressure a donation from a donor.