NextGen Donors, pt. 1 – It’s all about IMPACT!

Savvy congregational leaders have spent the last two decades learning about generational differences. “The Great Generation” (or GIs), Silents, Boomers, GenX, Millienial and beyond.

Now the changes in generations is getting attention among fundraisers as well. I’ve just digested a report, NextGen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, from the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and 21/64. I’ve got five take-aways from that report, and here’s the first:

It’s all about IMPACT. The question is, “at the end of the day,” what IMPACT did you have on the situation you’re trying to address. Not-for-profits are good at counting OUTPUTS: how many meals served, or attendees at a concert, or scholarships awared, or even dollars raised.

Now we need to count OUTCOMES and demonstrate IMPACT. Is our tutoring program actually improving grades? Are women in our shelter reducing their dependence on drugs?

So, we need to count. But we also need to measure. Those are two different things. Name the end result you’re hoping to see – ultimately, why are you doing the work? And find a way to track whether those results are actually happening.

Sorry for all the bold and ALL-CAPS. But, this is important stuff. Email me if you want to talk through what this means for your organization or religious community.

Next week, connecting mission and money.