When you’re deeply involved in making a positive impact, it can sometimes be hard to explain it with a few concise messages. Where should you start? We’ve put together five questions to help you think about your impact so you can talk about it with funders.
What are the monetary benefits?
Not-for-profits and community groups are exceptional at creating non-monetary benefit. But, they can create monetary benefits as well. Consider how your work might reduce societal costs like in healthcare, or waste management. Also, many community groups indirectly lift the economic potential of their target community. Impact like this all adds up.
What are the non-monetary benefits?
When you think about the non-monetary benefits, don’t stay too narrow. Explore where you can make an impact beyond the main community you’re focused on. Perhaps others in your region could benefit from what you’re doing. Maybe the whole country could! As an example, facilities in a community can often become a hub for all kinds of interest groups to build broad social connectedness and wellbeing.
How can you show there’s community support for the impact you’re working towards?
Not-for-profit and community groups work best when they focus on doing something ‘in’ and ‘with’ the community; not ‘to’ it. Potential funders will also want to know the community is behind an organisation they’re looking to support. Funding HQ has thorough guidance on demonstrating community support to win funding. The platform also includes insights about working with people of influence.
Who are the ‘faces’ of your impact?
Any good story is brought to life by its characters. The same goes for talking about your impact. When we can empathise with real people, it’s easier for us to understand and engage with something. So, look for those in your community who can talk about how your work has affected them. Their stories are a great way to unlock people’s compassion and support. Check out our blog on finding and telling stories for fundraising here.
How will you measure your impact?
You need to be clear about how you’ll monitor the success and progress of your work. This helps you plot the journey towards your organisation’s goals. It also shows potential funders what positive and sustainable change you’re delivering.
Funding HQ has comprehensive guidance on measuring and reporting on impact. Also, the Funding HQ Template Pack has a Reporting Template which is a useful place to start with preparing reports to your funders.
Reach your funding potential
In conclusion, when you talk to funders, don’t get so focused on the ‘what’ that you forget the ‘why’. Keep your goals and outcomes top of mind. It helps to be ready to explain what funding means for your organisation’s impact on the lives of those in your community.
Funding HQ has many more ideas and gives you frameworks to help you succeed. Find out if it’s a fit for your organisation here.