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Building Trust and Transparency


By Sean Chisholm

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

by Network for Good

Constituents need our organizations’ programs, support and mission activities more than ever, but the nationwide belt-tightening is affecting our donors. So how do you keep those donations flowing? What’s the one piece of the puzzle you need to remember to fit in to continue to cultivate those supporter relationships?


Here are a few key ways to be transparent and build trust with your supporters (so they continue to support you!):

1. Show where the money goes. Sending a thank-you note? Composing your latest e-newsletter? Be sure to include information about where those donor dollars went! The last thing your supporters want is to feel that their money was sucked into a black hole of administrative costs.

2. Get specific! How many scholarships did you fund? What dog found a home instead of a kill-shelter? Who’s the volunteer you affected by giving the opportunity to work with children? Sure, pie charts can be informative, but make sure you’re showing people real change–not just facts and figures.

3. Tell the whole story. Times are tough for all of us; be sure to recognize how important and appreciated their support has been. How have the times affected those you’re working to help? How have they affected your organization? Paint the full picture of what a difference your donor made.

4. Be genuine. More than likely you’re pretty passionate about what you do. Make sure that’s imparted to supporters in your communications–your organization’s accomplishments are not just numbers; they’re stories. Think about how you can be authentic!

Being genuine, authentic and transparent is unrivaled in importance. Don’t underestimate how much this can mean for supporters who truly want to help your cause.

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