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By: Danielle Jessup, CMP

As a non-profit organization, sharing your success story is what helps build strong emotional connections and relationships with your supporters and members.  It is important you take the time to build these stories throughout the year, so you have resources available in your back pocket. Two simple tips to help build these stories are through reflection and impact statements.  Here are some quick tips and action steps to help you get started.


REQUEST: If you provide scholarships or grants, make it a requirement for recipients to submit a reflection prior to awarding the funds. Beneficiaries serve as the best resource for personal testimonies and can help build connections for future applicants and donors.

ACTION: Create a flyer, webpage, or something to display the reflections and connect it back to the organization’s mission.  Adding a reflection to your donor thank you letter is another great example of sharing your success story. (Be sure to get permission from people before making their stories public.)

REAL LIFE STORY: @ASPCA is great at sharing their stories (see the example from their website below). As a donor of the organization myself, I receive these stories in my mail to let me know how my donations are supporting its members/animals.  It’s a reminder that my donation is going to a good cause and a reason to continue supporting the organization.


REQUEST: Each year, request that your members submit yearly data on the number of people reached, programs completed, scholarships/grants awarded, etc., so you can prepare an impact report.  This can be done on a state or national level.  The impact report can help demonstrate the difference you make in people’s lives, communities, and businesses. It also improves the visibility of programs and helps to generate support.

ACTION: Build an impact statement with these numbers!  Clearly describe who benefited from the project, program, or scholarship. Display this information prominently on your website, or marketing materials. You can also use it for advocating your mission.

REAL LIFE STORY: See example below from @NEAFCS.  For their profession, impact reports must be submitted, so they can be shared with members of Congress and other key decision makers.  Whether you are required to report your impact or not, these reports are great to build strong relationships with stakeholders and donors.


REQUEST: Sponsors and donors help non-profits continue their mission. Request a personalized endorsement from some of your top supporters.  This is a great way to share and personalize the difference the organization is making.

ACTION: Invite donors to provide a quick 1-minute endorsement video, including any personal connection to the cause if possible. You can then display these videos and a write-up on your website.  This is also great publicity for your donors/supporters.