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

November 7, 2012 By Kelley Jarrett

If the election has taught us anything this year, it is that transparency is valued by all constituencies, all walks of life and by all voters. Your nonprofit's constituents are no different. The same way Americans want to see how our presidential candidates use our money and support, your constituents need to understand how your mission is impacted by theirs.

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

Here are four ways you can implement digital transparency and showcase your nonprofit's stewardship online.

Share your mission

Share your mission clearly and succinctly. Show the direct impact a supporter's action makes on your mission. A user should know the core of your mission within five seconds of looking at your website homepage.

Use infographics for clarity and impact

Nonprofit supporters often scan your website for a quick way to learn how their support affects change. Infographics allow you to show all types of content visually, clearly and succinctly, as well as stewardship, impact, mission fulfillment and even campaign progress.

Share real stories of impact

Sharing stories of how others are affected by your work, outreach and mission builds credibility and encourages empathy. Showing stewardship is not just about transparency; it is about showing real-life examples of those affected by your work.

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 of many that your supporters use almost exclusively, and is growing in adoption every day, so it is important to make it count.

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

Kelley Jarrett is market manager of Guide Creative by Blackbaud.

 

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