Fundraising has always been a challenge. We’ve seen this with educational institutions and alumni, and we have seen it with organizations trying to get donations to continue their work in humanitarian efforts. To get people to give willingly is especially challenging when they are skeptical, because they don’t really believe their money is going to make a real impact. This, unfortunately, will always be a challenge, but it’s a challenge that can be minimized using data visualization.

We have helped many non-profits and associations over the years use data visualization to visualize stories in the form of an infographic, report (financial and general data), and information dashboard to improve donor relations and increase donations. Data visualization effectiveness depends on the quality of data and the ability to extract the right data story for the intended audience.

In this digital age where everything is at our fingertips, one of the most effective ways to build donor relations and increase donations is using data visualization as a method to visualize the data story on your website, social media and other digital platforms.  Some tips to think about:

  1. When you visualize a story that clearly defines the problem you are addressing, the impact of solving that problem, why the donor is needed for success, and how you are measuring success, the donor will be more willing to enter the story through financial support. Without a good story, they may only see a sales pitch.
  2. When the donor becomes part of the story, the donor will see their social return on investment.
  3. The donor’s relationship will financially continue and may spread into physical involvement as well as encouraging their network of friends and family to get involved.

To illustrate the effectiveness of using data visualization for data storytelling, we recently helped The Council on Competitiveness. Every year they release a roadmap titled “Clarion Call for Competitiveness”. They wanted to share their data in a visual summary. We analyzed their data, created a data story and designed an infographic to visualize that story. As a result, they saw an increase in influence and action, because people related to the data story.

Are you doing the same things, year in and year out, to gain and retain donors? Maybe it is time to turn your data into a visual story that will influence donors to give willingly.