Digital Transparency | npENGAGE

Digital Transparency: It’s Not Just for this Political Season

By on Oct 12, 2012


transparency in stewardship

If the election has taught us anything this year, it’s that transparency is valued by all constituencies, all walks of life and by all voters.  Red or Blue, North or South, Conservative, Moderate or Liberal, everyone wants to know what the candidates have done in the past and will do once in office with our taxes to better America.

Your nonprofit’s constituents are no different.

Just like the American people want to see how our Presidential candidates will use our money and support, your constituents need to understand how your mission will be impacted by theirs.

And here’s the kicker – it’s not enough for you to know you’re being a good steward of their support and your resources…you have to show it!

Nonprofit stewardship is not just about saying thank you, it’s about showing how you use your resources to further your mission and sharing the impact your constituents have towards it. Above all, supporters are looking for information that they will translate into credibility and accountability, increasing the likelihood of engagement, trust and loyalty.

Your nonprofit’s website can be a powerful vehicle for showcasing transparency and commitment to your mission.

The use of imagery and infographics, charts or images can provide supporters with a quick, visual display of impact. Providing success stories and results will lend a personal touch to your mission. When donors hear about the impact of their support from those directly impacted, they’ll be more likely to give and will ultimately feel more involved.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can implement digital transparency and showcase your nonprofit’s stewardship online:

Digital Transparency: Share Your Mission

Share your mission clearly and succinctly and show the direct impact a supporter’s action will make on your mission.  A user should know the core of your mission within 5 seconds of looking at your website homepage – how does yours fare?

Digital Transparency: Use Infographics For Clarity and Impact 

Nonprofit supporters often scan your website for a quick way to learn how their support will affect change.

Infographics allow you to show all types of content visually, clearly and succinctly – stewardship, impact, mission fulfillment and even campaign progress.

Charity: Water does an excellent job on their website  using icons and infographics to tell their story and show how supporting their organization can directly impact lives.

Digital Transparency: Share Real Stories of Impact

Sharing stories of how others are affected by your work, outreach and mission will build credibility and encourage empathy.

Showing stewardship is not just about transparency; it’s about showing real life examples of those affected by your work.

Digital Transparency: Say Thank You Digitally

Saying “thank you” seems simple but is often forgotten. Your website is a great place to say it publicly with a strong voice and broad reach.  The digital channel is one that many of your supporters are using almost exclusively, and is growing in adoption every day, so it’s important to make it count.

There are many ways to show your supporters strong and thorough stewardship.

The digital channel should be incorporated into a broader strategy that allows you to serve your constituents in multiple ways – allowing them access to you on their terms.  Diversifying your efforts across channels helps to build consistency, credibility and trust.

Don’t be accused of “hiding your records” or not having a “clear plan” for the future of your organization like we see this political season.  Incorporate one of these digital strategies today, your supporters are waiting!



Kelley Jarrett has built her professional career around a combined passion for creating compelling marketing strategies and helping nonprofits achieve optimal mission impact. Prior to her current role as head of marketing for Blackbaud Nonprofit Solutions, Kelley served in many service-oriented positions at Blackbaud as a solutions consultant, solutions engineer, and in customer success leadership, learning first-hand of the challenges and opportunities nonprofits face, and helping to create solutions for success. Kelley enjoys balancing her home life, living near the beach in Charleston, SC as a wife and mother to 2 independent girls, with her passion for social good, both at Blackbaud and as a Board Director of Palmetto Goodwill.

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