Money for Good Study: Sharing Information About Your Org's Results Can Attract More Donors | Beth's Blog

Money for Good Study: Sharing Information About Your Org’s Results Can Attract More Donors


GuideStar and Hope Consulting have released the results of new study, Money for Good II (MFGII).

The findings suggest that if nonprofits are more transparent in sharing information about their results online that they could attract more donors. The research found that two-thirds of individuals do not typically research the organizations they donate to compared those that advise donors and foundation grant-makers do due dilligence on every dollar they contribute. Despite these different approaches – giving from the heart versus the head – both groups want a broad range of information on the nonprofits’ impact, financials, anad legitimacy.

The study also states that donors want to be able to obtain this information from third-party portals and 53 percent of donors survyed want to use such sites. There is a high demand for data that shows how the nonprofit has been effective and made an impact. The research also suggests that if donors had better information to make their decisions and 5% used it to donate to the most effective nonprofits, this could lead to shift of $15 billion in contributed income to be invested in high performing nonprofits.

The study states that these findings offer an opportunity for nonprofits to better connect with donors by providing more detailed information about their performance and it is also an opportunity to educate donors about the need to research before donating.


The study points out that nonprofits can increase their fundraising and improve operations through an intentional focus on measurement – that helps them determine impact, effectiveness, and efficiency.  After financial information, individual donors want information about how nonprofits are getting their results.     (See above).

Does your nonprofit have a measurement system in place so that you can communicate results to potential donors?

7 Responses

  1. Cheryl says:

    Very important topic Beth. With so many organizations addressing the same cause, it’s important to show donors that you are addressing your cause effectively. For example, the fight against cancer is my pet cause and I have dozens if not more, organizations I can engage with on that issue. The organizations that show me how well they are doing are the ones I am most likely to donate to and volunteer with.

  2. SandrineGKF says:

    A really interesting topic with some fascinating results. We post a report after each event we do – this post is a really helpful way to look at what we are doing.


  3. Beth says:

    Cheryl: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. How does your cause report on how they’re doing in an effective way? Why do they stand out?

  4. Beth says:

    Sandrine: Great to hear from you. I looked at your web site and your program sounds fascinating. The report is above is about American charities, do you think this advice applies to those in Europe?

  5. The fundraising blog “The Agitator” today blogged about a Boston Globe articlre on December 4th describing research showing that when donors think too much about their giving, it goes down. According to the article, when people are given more information, their giving diminishes. It was thought-provoking to read that post and then yours in the same day. What are your reactions to the article? Here is the Boston Globe article link:

  6. AJ says:

    I’m generally in favor of a high degree of fundraising transparency, but I think it can really go either way. In my experience with our non-profit clients, detailed reports on the status of overall fundraising goals and short-term, specific campaigns work in the favor of organizations that are already very well established. For groups that are in their first few months or years of developing an online fundraising presence, too much information can be a turnoff for donors who want to get invested in the mission of the organization before they start feeling interested in learning about nuts-and-bolts progress. I’m DEFINITELY behind non-profits measuring their fundraising successes and failures with a tangible, measurable scale and working toward very specific goals, but I think the need for fundraising transparency for online donors varies wildly from organization to organization. Great post, as usual, Beth!

  7. […] on a non-profit organisation’s financials and effectiveness.  There’s a great post here on the research if you want to know […]