Not everyone knows that Christian Living Communities is a non-profit organization.

Generous donors contribute to many of the programs and initiatives that benefit our residents, as well as to the Resident Assistance Fund which helps qualifying residents who, through no fault of their own, can no longer afford their cost of care.

One of our successful efforts to connect with our generous donors was recently highlighted on the website of the Vertus Group, an organization that helps non-profits achieve their goals. We’re sharing it here with their permission. This article was written by Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels.


“So, tell me what you did with my money,” the donor said. And the silence and lack of response drove her away.

Jeff and I hear stories like this every week. Every week! Sadly, this is one of the major causes of donor attrition – the donor gave a gift but did not receive information back on how that gift made a difference. So she gave to another organization that is far more responsive.

One of the most difficult aspects of fundraising is getting enough program impact information to give to the donor. And the amazing thing is that most managers and leaders find more value in investing on the front end of fundraising (adding major gift officers, getting new donors) than they do in putting resources into the back end (servicing donors after they give).

This is why the following idea from Olivia Mayer of Christian Living Communities in Colorado was so interesting and practical.

Here is what she does – in her own words…

I have been thinking more about how to creatively report back to our donors. In fact, I just received a great email from someone in programming that detailed how a major gift from a donor had made a difference.

To get these impact reports (for lack of a better term), I’ve started asking program staff to answer 3-5 questions on how the program, scholarship, or in the example below, the new bus, has helped. It’s been much better than just asking staff to share the impact. The specific questions seem to make it a lot easier for them. Here’s an example:

Hi Bill [he is our transportation director]:

I realize it has now been 2 years since we got the van, but I wanted to thank our donor again. The best way, I thought, would be to send a note and share a sentence or two from you on what an impact having the van has made.

If you could respond in a separate email – not a reply – I would so appreciate it. I will then print and share your email with the donor. If I could have this by Friday that would be wonderful.

You might think in terms of:

  1. Having the van has made transportation for Holly Creek residents …
  2. Without the van, …
  3. If I could meet the donor, I’d say this: …

This very simple idea is powerful and practical, and it shows a great deal of creativity on the part of Olivia. What I like about it is that it accomplishes several very important things:

  • It secures program impact information that is easy to understand and void of a lot of technical jargon.
  • It is short and to the point – assuring, to a greater degree, that the donor will actually read it.It states a consequence of a need NOT met, further telling the donor what their gift helped avoid – that is the statement above: “without the van….” This consequence-telling is very important in impact reporting. It further proves the value of the gift – “if you hadn’t given, this would have happened.”
  • It states a consequence of a need NOT met, further telling the donor what their gift helped avoid – that is the statement above: “without the van….” This consequence-telling is very important in impact reporting. It further proves the value of the gift – “if you hadn’t given, this would have happened.”
  • It allows the program person to touch the donor directly. This is really good. And, sometimes, more believable. The hands-on program person is telling the donor what happened in his or her own words – details sent from the program person to the major gift officer can be very effective.

You might be able to come up with more statements than the three Olivia suggested, but I think those three are really good on their own. Stated generically they are:

  1. Here’s what happened because you gave – stated as “Your gift to X has….”
  2. Here’s what would have happened if you hadn’t given – stated as “If you hadn’t given to X, this is what would have happened.”
  3. Here’s what I want to say to you about your gift – stated as “Here is what you gift has meant to me, the program person.”

Proof of program performance is one of the most neglected areas in the non-profit sector today, which is why donors are fleeing their favorite charities in record numbers. Putting this simple idea into practice in your organization will dramatically stem the tide of your donors leaving. Take steps this week to do this. It will make a tremendous difference.

May 1, 2017 | Posted in News | Leave a comment

PROMISE Stars live out these customer service principles: Personalize interactions, Respect each person, Own each person’s problem as if it’s yours, Make everyone’s life better, Invite people to connect and Exceed expectations. Morgan Shoup, Donor Relations Coordinator Aged to Perfection (ATP). Read More…

April 12, 2017 | Posted in News | Leave a comment

PROMISE Stars live out these customer service principles: Personalize interactions, Respect each person, Own each person’s problem as if it’s yours, Make everyone’s life better, Invite people to connect and Exceed expectations.  Laura Roedema-Bliek, DON and Carol Frohardt, Social Worker at. Read More…

Our communities’ residents have talents that we are proud to share. Mille Van Wyke researched and wrote a book called The Town of South Denver chronicling local history. Van Wyke is a Holly Creek Life Plan Community resident. 2017 is. Read More…

March 31, 2017 | Posted in News | Leave a comment

PROMISE Stars live out these customer service principles: Personalize interactions, Respect each person, Own each person’s problem as if it’s yours, Make everyone’s life better, Invite people to connect and Exceed expectations. David Tompkins, Director of Clinical Informatics  It’s important to. Read More…

You can help support older adults in need and also enjoy a great evening out! On Thursday, April 20th, we will be celebrating successful living at the 12th Annual Aged to Perfection wine tasting and silent auction at Holly Creek. The. Read More…

March 13, 2017 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PROMISE Stars live out these customer service principles: Personalize interactions, Respect each person, Own each person’s problem as if it’s yours, Make everyone’s life better, Invite people to connect and Exceed expectations. CNA Nurse Mentors: Josiphat Sereti – SRD; Isabel Godoy,. Read More…

March 6, 2017 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PROMISE Stars live out these customer service principles: Personalize interactions, Respect each person, Own each person’s problem as if it’s yours, Make everyone’s life better, Invite people to connect and Exceed expectations. Karen Herrmann, SRD Staffing Coordinator Karen routinely checks in. Read More…

Christian Living Communities is proud to be one of the sponsors of “The Sum Total of our Memory: Facing Alzheimer’s Together.” This special documentary, airing Wednesday, February 15th at 7 pm on Public Television Channel 12, explores the relationships of. Read More…

The topic of Ageism is building steam as more people are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges it represents. Like other “isms,” i.e., racism or sexism, ageism has crept into our culture, but it is not easily removed from our. Read More…

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 33