A Case of First Things Last

I had the following exchange with the representative of a nonprofit looking for help on an online network.

She: I'm on the board of a small Friends of Trails organization that is setting up online giving with Bloomerang. The giving form creator requires me to provide an impact statement for every different giving level. Our main activities to date are 1) advocating for public trail funding, and 2) building a community of trail lovers through events and social media. I'm having trouble coming up with different impact statements that tie back to donation amounts.

Me: Since you reached out beyond your organization for input, I'm curious whether you had this conversation within your organization and its current supporters?

She: Yes, we've had a board conversation. Either members didn't have ideas or suggested tricking the system to leave these fields blank.

Me: Another thought, how would the people who benefit from your organization's work describe "impact?"

She: Great question! Will interview some folks.

There's a learning here. Your nonprofit benefits from a vivid, ongoing connection to the people for whom it exists, and this needs to be more than an afterthought.

Harvey B Chess
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