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Demonstrate impact in language donors understand, says Resource Alliance’s Neelam Makhijani

Demonstrate impact in language donors understand, says Resource Alliance’s Neelam Makhijani

Fundraisers are failing to demonstrate the impact of their organisation’s work in a language that donors understand.

This is the view of Neelam Makhijani, chief executive of the Resource Alliance, who made the statement during an interview with UK Fundraising.

She urged fundraisers to think hard about the impact they achieve, and to find ways of articulating these results to donors in an accessible and easily understandable way – which means working more closely with programme staff.

“All too often if you ask programme people to put together a concept paper they will use technical language that is difficult to understand,” she said. “There is a language barrier that needs to be resolved. Fundraisers need to ensure that they translate this into a language that they understand and that the donor will understand.”

She also urged charities to use social media to demonstrate the “why” of their work rather than just raising their profile through “what” they do. “These tools can be used effectively to highlight the impact of what fundraisers do,” she said. "However, it’s important to ensure they are used proportionately alongside other fundraising tools."

Impact is to be the principal theme at the Resource Alliance’s flagship event, the International Fundraising Congress (IFC). Delegates to the 2013 event in October will include more than 900 fundraisers from more than 58 countries worldwide.

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Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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