Charity effectiveness: How can you show it? - Charity Savant

We asked, and Canadians answered. 89% of Canadians agreed that charity effectiveness plays a big role in their giving decisions.

We can argue till the cows come home about whether or not judging effectiveness is an accurate or fair way to determine if a charity should be supported. But the reality is, this is how Canadian donors feel, and it’s time for nonprofits to keep up.  

So what can you do to make sure donors see your nonprofit as effective?

Communicate impact

Along with telling donors about how much you spend on overhead (groan), make sure you’re giving them the full picture. Use your existing communication channels to talk about how successful your programs are, and to tell the stories of your beneficiaries.

Be as transparent as possible

When we talk about transparency, most people think about financial statements. But that’s not all there is to it. Be open about the challenges your organization faces, and the ways you’re trying to address them. Be open about your strategic plans, your goals, and your outcomes. Financial information is important, sure, but without the context of what your charity is achieving, it really doesn’t mean all that much.

Learn to say no

Sometimes we say yes to things that require a lot of time and energy, or aren’t part of our mandates. These requests can come from donors, clients, and sometimes even staff. Remember: You don’t have to be everything to everyone – especially if there are other organizations you can refer folks to. Be honest with your audience about what’s actually do-able and they will come to respect your decisions.  

Train your staff and volunteers

A well-trained workforce will reduce turnover, improve the pace of work, and move projects along more smoothly. Why wade through projects with guesswork? Train your staff and volunteers to become experts in what they do, and you’ll see less time wasted and more efficient operations. And you can get started by checking out Charity Savant’s free toolkits and resources for easy-to-use training options for your organization.

Ashleigh Saith

Co-Founder, Charity Savant

Ashleigh Saith is a fundraiser and nonprofit leader with years of experience working in small- and mid-sized nonprofits. She’s passionate about nonprofit marketing and leadership, and found herself with a shocking knack for finance. While out running, Ashleigh thinks about new ways that Charity Campus can help nonprofit staff and volunteers grow, learn, and connect with each other.