What Data to Include in a Donor Impact Report

Creating a compelling donor impact report is crucial for nonprofit organizations to showcase the meaningful difference they make in the world. To truly highlight the impact of your work, it’s essential to include relevant and insightful data in your report. But what exactly should these reports include to communicate the impact of donations effectively?

Donor data is a treasure trove of information that can help tell a powerful story about the outcomes and accomplishments achieved through donor support. Understanding which donor data to showcase is crucial for crafting a compelling narrative that not only acknowledges contributions but also demonstrates how those contributions have furthered the organization’s mission.

Grab a snack as we delve into the essential components of a donor impact report, focusing on donor data and how to segment it to reflect your organization’s progress and successes.

Key Elements of Donor Impact Reports

When compiling an impact report, it’s important to include data that is both informative and inspiring. Here are the key elements that should be incorporated into your report:

Quantitative and Qualitative Data

A balanced mix of numbers and narratives gives a complete picture of your organization’s achievements. While quantitative data provides measurable evidence of impact, qualitative data tells the stories behind the numbers, making the impact more relatable and personal to donors.

Financial Transparency

Donors want to know how their money is being spent. Break down expenses and categorize them into programs, administrative costs, and fundraising efforts to offer a transparent view of financial stewardship.

Provide your donors with a clear picture of the financial impact their contributions have made. Include data on the total funds raised, the specific programs or projects supported, and the percentage of the total budget allocated to each area. This helps donors understand how their dollars are being utilized and the direct impact they are having on the organization’s mission. Use charts, graphs, and visuals to make the financial impact easy to digest.

Program Results

Highlight the outcomes and metrics achieved by your organization’s programs and initiatives. Include data on the number of people served, the positive outcomes achieved, and any relevant performance indicators. This could be the number of meals provided, the increase in literacy rates, or the reduction in homelessness. Concrete data that shows the impact of your programs helps donors understand the tangible difference their support has made.

Donor Segmentation Stats

Segmenting donor data allows you to personalize the report based on different donor levels or types. This can include individual donors, corporate partners, or foundations, each potentially interested in different aspects of your work.

Acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of your donors by including data on their engagement and participation. Highlight the number of donors who supported your organization during the reporting period and any significant milestones achieved, such as a growth in the donor base or an increase in recurring donations. Breaking this down into segments will further showcase trends in giving patterns based on donor groups.

Testimonials and Success Stories

Donor impact reports should go beyond numbers and statistics. Including success stories and testimonials from individuals who directly benefited from your organization’s programs or services adds a personal touch. Share compelling narratives that illustrate the positive change created through donor support. These stories help donors connect emotionally with your cause and reinforce the importance of their contributions.

Social Media and Online Engagement

We know that donations and support don’t just happen in person anymore. Including data on social media and online engagement, like through your website, can provide key observations into the reach and impact of your organization’s message.

Share metrics such as the number of followers, website visitors, or social media shares to illustrate your organization’s online presence and influence. Maybe you created your own hashtag for an event, report on the number of times that hashtag was used to demonstrate your reach. This data showcases how your nonprofit is leveraging the power of digital to make a broader impact.

Pro Tip: Feedback and Survey Results

Implementing surveys and collecting feedback is an excellent way to gauge donor satisfaction and gather insights for continuous improvement. Include key findings from donor surveys in your impact report to denote your commitment to listening and responding to supporter feedback. This shows transparency and helps donors understand that their opinions and perspectives are valued, which builds stronger relationships.

Donor Impact Report Key Elements

Incorporating Donor Data in Impact Reports

Donation Statistics

Start with the basics: the total amount raised within the reporting period, the number of new donors acquired, and the donor retention rate. This data provides a snapshot of fundraising health and donor loyalty.

Donor Demographics

Understanding who your donors are can help tailor future engagement strategies. Include information on donor demographics such as age, location, and giving levels. Highlight any giving trends you may have noticed. Maybe add some fun facts like whether your donors are pet owners, love Netflix, or read thrillers. Again, personalization (and personality) all play a major role in strengthening the bond a person feels with a mission.

Donation Usage

Detail how donations have been allocated. If a donor contributed to a specific project or fund, show how their contribution has made a difference. This creates a direct link between the donor’s action and the outcome.

Impact by Donation Size

Demonstrate how different levels of contributions have varying impacts. This can encourage donors to increase their support by showing the incremental benefits of larger donations.

The Power of Effective Donor Data Presentation

Donor impact reports are not just a means of accountability; they are a strategic tool for building and sustaining donor relationships. Think show and tell. By carefully selecting which donor data to include and presenting it in an engaging manner, organizations can effectively communicate their achievements and foster a sense of shared success with their contributors.

Remember, a well-crafted impact report doesn’t just look back at what has been accomplished—it also sets the stage for future endeavors and invites donors to continue being a part of the journey.

Impactful Storytelling in Donor Reports

By fueling up on the power of donor data and segmentation, your organization can create impact reports that not only inform but also inspire and motivate. It’s not just about the numbers; it’s about the lives changed, the progress made, and the community built around a common cause.

As you prepare your next donor impact report, keep these insights in mind. With the right data and a compelling narrative, you can deepen donor engagement and pave the way for sustained impact and growth.

How Machine Learning Can Reveal Trends with Your Donors: Part 1

Are you a nonprofit looking for ways to tap into the power of data to understand your donors and their giving behavior better? Imagine uncovering rich revelations about donor trends and preferences, making it easier to connect with your supporters on a more personal level. Thanks to advancements in Machine Learning (ML), nonprofits can now access powerful tools to revolutionize their fundraising activities.

So, how exactly does Machine Learning make it easier to uncover important information about donors and donor trends? This AWS post highlights many of the technical aspects of ML models.

Machine Learning is the compass that’s transforming how nonprofits unearth valuable information about their supporters. Here, we’ll kick off a series exploring how ML is revolutionizing donor data analysis, enhancing donor segmentation, and shaping the future of fundraising. Stay tuned for Part Two…

A Deeper Dive into Donor Data

Fundraisers have always sifted through donor data to find patterns, but Machine Learning automates and refines this process. The true power of Machine Learning is its ability to build hundreds of models for each campaign that a nonprofit can then use to grow its donor base. It can swiftly analyze years of donation history, psychographics, and communication engagement to hone in on factors influencing giving. If used correctly, ML can also identify who is not likely to give, saving an organization countless wasted dollars on marketing to an uninterested audience. This scaleable, granular analysis unveils the preferences and behaviors that separate lifelong supporters from one-time donors or indifferent individuals, guiding fundraisers in tailoring their strategies.

Machine Learning: The Game Changer for Donor Segmentation

Machine Learning elevates donor segmentation from a basic classification task, which is typically RFM, to a nuanced and dynamic process. Gone are the days of segmenting by basic demographics. With Machine Learning’s ability to mine data quickly and intelligently, organizations will find they can segment individuals based on far more personalized and impactful attributes. With more personal segmentation, predicting donor actions, and identifying preferences, nonprofits can create highly targeted fundraising campaigns on a whole new level.

Prescriptive Analytics for Proactive Fundraising

ML’s analytical power helps organizations anticipate donor behavior—from superficial indicators like who is likely to respond to deeper factors like what creative elements generate larger gifts. By analyzing past giving patterns, amounts, and communication channels, among other factors like color preferences, font, and font size, it can go beyond forecasting who is likely to give, when, and how much but what will get a response. Machine Learning can literally see a campaign from a million different perspectives and factor in infinite dimensions that standard analysis can’t detect. With these next-level details, think of this modern approach to finding donor trends as a look into the future. Now, fundraising teams can proactively reach out to these individuals with unprecedented tailored appeals right when they are most likely to donate.

Unlocking Donor Trends with Machine Learning

ML not only helps in understanding individual donor behaviors but also in spotting broader trends across the donor base. Machine algorithms are adept at identifying subtle, complex patterns in data that might elude human analysts. This can include seasonal trends, the impact of external events on giving, unknown bias, or the emergence of new donor demographics.

Implementing Machine Learning in Your Fundraising Strategy

Ready to channel the power of Ai for your nonprofit? Here’s how to get started.

Partner with the Right Tech Providers

Nonprofits may not have the in-house expertise to develop Machine Learning systems from scratch. Partnering with tech providers that offer Machine Learning solutions tailored to fundraising can jump-start the process. VeraData’s Machine Learning and Ai solutions combine the deepest donor data with the most sophisticated technology and data science capabilities to see the future in ways others simply cannot replicate.

Train Your Team on Machine Learning Fundamentals

Fundraising teams must understand the basics of Machine Learning to use it effectively. Investing in training can demystify the technology and qualify your team to make data-driven decisions.


Machine Learning is reshaping the fundraising landscape by providing deeper insights into donor behaviors and trends. It empowers nonprofits to personalize their outreach, predict future giving patterns, and adapt to changes swiftly. While implementing Machine Learning requires some due diligence, its benefits can significantly enhance fundraising efforts. By embracing this technology, organizations can ensure they are well-equipped to meet the evolving expectations of their donors and secure the resources needed to fulfill their missions.

Donor Science Explained: What is a Donor Science™ Co-Op

Data is an invaluable resource for nonprofit success that can transform how charities fundraise. The future of Co-Ops leverages much broader collaborative data to empower organizations to reach new people and achieve new growth goals in a way that traditional Co-Ops simply can’t. In this blog post, we will explore what a Donor Science Co-Op is and how VeraData’s DonorVision is paving the way to the future of donor acquisition and engagement.

What is a Traditional Co-Op?

In the context of nonprofits, a Co-Op, short for cooperative, refers to a collaborative pool of donor data from various organizations. This means nonprofits add their donor data to the pool, aggregate it with others’ donor data, and extract potentially new people to contact. Traditionally, most Co-Ops shuffle the same deck of cards, looking at basic donor metrics. Old-school RFM models have been and continue to be the industry standard, but they’re slowing you down.

The Future of Co-Ops

A Donor Science Co-Op is different. It’s a powerful platform that captures and standardizes a broader set of donor data elements along with promotion and transaction history. Leveraging advanced Machine Learning and human-assisted Ai, nonprofits obtain essential information about emerging patterns, trends, and preferences. This enables them to fine-tune a diverse array of fundraising strategies and tactics, crafting campaigns that are tailored to their target audience’s needs and interests. You’re likely using a Co-Op to inform your audience decisions, right? The revolutionary Co-Op is a complete guidance system—from new donor list plans to copy and graphics—this isn’t your old-school Co-Op.

DonorVision dives deeper into the data, revealing personal behavior, habits, and choices that allow you to pinpoint your campaigns to a new audience. With real-time analysis tailored to meet specific KPIs, we expand your donor base, empowering you to reach and exceed your goals. Through granular data analysis, DonorVision not only uncovers individuals more likely to support your organization but is also built with a prescriptive decision-making process that discloses how to market to those new potential supporters.

We recognize that every nonprofit’s needs are distinct—that’s why DonorVision is designed to be as flexible as it is powerful. Whether you’re looking to enhance engagement or increase the frequency of donations across a more diverse donor network, our solution molds itself around your objectives. We invite you on a transformative journey where the power of precise data helps unlock new possibilities for growth and impact in the communities you serve—let’s revolutionize how high-value donors connect with your cause!

The Power of Collaborative Data

One of the most significant perks of a Donor Science-based cooperative is that it offers nonprofits access to a significantly deeper pool of donor data. In addition, DonorVision combines the information from the contributing organizations with our own analytical database of over 20+ years of more hyper-detailed historical data. With this combined set of donor information, regardless of a nonprofit’s KPIs, organizations can extract the most significant data and fine-tune their strategies to grow and do more. Within the DonorVision Co-Op, nonprofits gain access to new behavioral and preference attributes that can enhance their prospect selection ability and expand the universe of profitable donors.

Data Security and Compliance

It’s natural for organizations to have concerns about data security and confidentiality and should take great care before opting into a Co-Op. Do the research beforehand to find out what security measures are in place. With proper security protocols, nonprofits can operate in a low-risk environment allowing them to focus on their mission without worrying about the safety of their data.


The Donor Science Co-Op has the power to transform the philanthropic landscape by coming together and leveraging collaborative data, advanced analytics, and cutting-edge technology. This data-first approach allows nonprofits to fine-tune their campaigns, boost engagement, and drive new results. With the assurance of data security, customization, and KPI-focused analysis, it’s time to embrace the power of data and embark on a transformative journey with DonorVision Co-Op.

Join the Data-Driven Revolution

Are you ready to revolutionize your organization’s donor acquisition and engagement approach? The DonorVision Co-Op offers nonprofits an opportunity to unlock the full potential of their data and make a lasting mark in the communities they serve. By joining, you can attract and acquire high-value donors, excel in your mission, and leave a lasting impact.

The Data That Shows Why You Care

Understanding why people choose to support your nonprofit can be a puzzle. But with the right pieces of donor data, you can form a clearer picture of what drives your donors’ engagement and how to tailor your outreach for maximum impact. According to Philanthropy.com, most fundraisers have the habit of collecting data and don’t know how to interpret that data for impact. They see data analytics as a fancy add-on that will eventually slow down their already hectic pace of operations.

But that shouldn’t stop you…the reality of data analytics is quite the opposite. Uncovering the data about why people care offers you golden insights into your supporters’ motivations and interests.

The Importance of “Why People Care” Data

The Importance of “Why People Care” Data

Donor data has long been seen as age, gender, location, occupation, education level, and income. We now live in a world where we can dive deeper into what makes people tick: factors that compel them to give and what motivates them to continue supporting a particular cause. By collecting and analyzing these “why” data points, nonprofits can get a better understanding of their donors’ motivation to give and what cause areas, activities, or outcomes they’re passionate about supporting. This information 1) fuels program strategies, 2) creates more targeted campaigns that generate real responses and a community, and 3) expands your universe of prospective donors – what we call the “DonorVerse™”.

1. Tracking Engagement Levels

One key metric that can indicate someone’s passion for a nonprofit is their level of engagement. This includes tracking how frequently they interact with an organization, such as attending events, volunteering, visiting the website or responding to campaigns. High engagement levels often signify a deeper connection to the cause and a genuine interest in supporting the mission.

By analyzing engagement metrics, nonprofits can gain valuable insights into what activities resonate most with supporters and tailor outreach efforts accordingly. For example, if a donor consistently attends fundraising events and shares an organization’s content on social media, gives to multiple campaigns throughout the year, it’s a strong indicator that they are deeply committed to a cause, are likely to continue their support in the long term.

2. Donation History and Patterns

Another important data metric to consider is an individual’s donation history and giving patterns not only to your organization but across all of their charitable contributions. By analyzing the amount, frequency, channel, and timing of donations, nonprofits can uncover valuable information about donors’ motivations and preferences. For example, recurring donations indicate a consistent commitment to the cause, while large one-time donations may signal a specific interest in a particular initiative or campaign.

Moreover, tracking the specific programs or campaigns donors support can provide insights into what resonates with them most. By understanding which aspects of the nonprofit’s work are most compelling to individual donors, organizations can adjust their fundraising appeals and communication strategies to highlight those areas that are likely to elicit the most support.

3. Demographic and Psychographic Data

Demographic and psychographic data can also be valuable in determining why people care about nonprofits and what drives their support. Demographic information like those mentioned at the beginning of this piece (age, gender, income level, and location) can provide insights into the basic characteristics of a nonprofit’s donor base and can kick-start initial audience segments. But don’t stop there. Modern demographics go way beyond the traditional details. Track deeper details like preferred social media channels, whether they have pets, stick to a particular diet, and mode of transportation. Use these additional points to deepen audience segments for truly personalized campaigns that make people feel seen and understood.

Psychographic data, on the other hand, delves into donors’ values, interests, attitudes, and motivations. By analyzing psychographic data like someone’s hobbies or whether they are introverted vs extroverted, nonprofits can gain a deeper understanding of why people care about their cause and what emotional triggers inspire them to take action. For example, knowing that a donor is passionate about environmental conservation can help nonprofits craft messaging that resonates with their values and beliefs.

4. Behavior on Digital Platforms

In today’s digital age, tracking donor behavior online can offer valuable understanding into why people care about a mission and what drives their support. Monitoring engagement metrics on websites, social media channels, and email campaigns can help nonprofits recognize how donors interact with their content and the types of messages that resonate most with them.

For example, tracking click-through rates on email appeals, analyzing social media engagement, and monitoring website traffic patterns can provide valuable information on what content captures donors’ attention and motivates them to take action. By leveraging digital intelligence, nonprofits can optimize their online engagement strategies and create targeted communication campaigns that inspire continued support from donors.


People are not just numbers on a spreadsheet—their data is a window into their hearts and minds revealing the underlying motivations and passions that drive their support for nonprofits. By tracking specific metrics related to engagement levels, donation history, demographic and psychographic data, and online behavior, nonprofits will gain a deeper understanding of why people care about their cause and tailor their fundraising strategies to foster long-term relationships with supporters.

Ultimately, by harnessing the power of data metrics, nonprofits can create meaningful connections with donors, inspire continued support for their mission, and make a lasting impact on the world. Let’s continue to uncover the heart of giving and empower individuals to make a difference through their support of nonprofits.

How Tech Can Build Up Nonprofits

In the world of nonprofits, where every penny and every gesture counts, technology stands as a beacon of hope and efficiency. And when it comes to mastering the art of donor data, technology provides a powerful and trustworthy toolkit that can turn your nonprofit into an unstoppable force for good.

But how exactly does technology transform the way nonprofits operate? Nonprofits often face significant challenges in attracting and managing donors, ensuring financial sustainability, and maximizing impact. Fortunately, technology offers a powerful solution to many of these challenges, particularly when it comes to managing and leveraging donor data.

So, how can tech be used to build up nonprofits by leveraging donor data?

The Golden Trio: Nonprofit Analytics, Donor Data, and Donor Segmentation

The Golden Trio: Nonprofit Analytics, Donor Data, and Donor Segmentation

Using Ai and Machine Learning to Enhance Nonprofit Analytics: Your Crystal Ball

Imagine being able to predict the future and understand the impact of every decision you make. Ai and Machine Learning-backed nonprofit analytics is kind of like that crystal ball, giving you scaleable insights into fundraising patterns, volunteer engagement, and campaign outcomes. It’s all about identifying the impactful data to make informed decisions that can propel your mission forward.

Historical Donor Data: The Heartbeat of Your Organization

Historical donor data is your nonprofit’s heartbeat, pumping vital information through your strategies and campaigns. It’s the who, what, when, where, and why of your supporters. By not just collecting and analyzing donor data but adding new data from historical or alternative sources, you elevate those personalized experiences and resonate more powerfully with your audience on a whole new level. The more archival information you can access, the more pinpointed your messaging and overall strategies become.

Adding a New Layer to Donor Segmentation: The Art of Personalization

Traditional donor segmentation is like hosting a dinner party and knowing exactly what each guest loves to eat. With historical data sources and Ai at your back, you’ll not only know your guests’ food preferences but also their favorite drink, whether they are left-handed or right, do they prefer paper or cloth napkins, and whether they’re likely to eat dessert. The future of segmentation groups donors based on layering deeper personalized behaviors on top of their shared characteristics. With this information, you can tailor your communications, appeals, and gratitude in new, more detailed, and heartfelt ways. Adopting the new best practices for segmentation ensures that your message hits home every time, fostering stronger relationships with your supporters.

The Tech Tools That Make It All Happen

The Tech Tools That Make It All Happen

CRMs & DMSs: The Backbone of Donor Data Management

One of the most basic but critical ways to leverage technology is by using a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or Donor Management System (DMS) to centralize your donor data. They are the unsung heroes. They’re where you store all that precious donor data, from contact details to donation history and everything in between. The more detail, the better; you can’t keep it in an Excel spreadsheet. Granularity is the key to unlocking the power of Ai.  The new tech enables you to think differently, to think BIGGER, but you have to start smaller.  With a robust CRM or DMS, you can track every detail of your campaigns, package details, ask arrays, creative features, interactions, manage relationships, and ensure that no supporter feels like just another name on a list.

Analytics Partners: Your Data Translators

While the data analytics team you partner with should consist of actual humans, the tech stack and outside data they use will be your decoder rings, unlocking the secrets hidden within your supporters’ details. Your analytics partner will help you visualize trends, understand donor behavior, measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, and beyond. With these insights, you can maximize your fundraising efforts and ensure that your resources are being used in the most impactful way. What they discover might surprise you and that’s a good thing because this will fuel creativity and action-oriented campaigns that boost fundraising or other goals.

Email Marketing and Automation: Your Megaphone for Good

Email marketing software is your megaphone, amplifying your message to the masses. It’s not just about sending out newsletters; it’s about crafting targeted campaigns, automating follow-ups, and measuring engagement. The right email marketing tool can make your communications feel like a warm, friendly chat even if you’re reaching out to thousands of supporters.

Marketing automation can also help nonprofits stay top-of-mind for donors, even when they’re not actively fundraising. By automating regular communication, such as newsletters and impact reports, nonprofits can keep donors engaged, informed, and connected to the cause.

Tips for Harnessing the Power of Tech in Your Nonprofit

Start Small and Scale Up

Don’t feel like you need to dive into the deep end with tech. Start small with one tool or platform and get comfortable with it. As you see the benefits, you can gradually incorporate more technology into your operations.

Keep Your Data Clean and Organized

A superhero is only as good as their gadgets, and in the tech world, clean data is your best gadget. Regularly update and maintain your donor database to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Go Beyond the Usual Segmentation

Segmentation is a powerful tool, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Think carefully about how you group donors and what kind of messaging will resonate with each segment. Personalization is key!

Measure, Learn, and Adapt

Use the insights from your analytics to improve your strategies continuously. Measure the success of your campaigns, learn from the data, and adapt your approach as needed.

Embrace the Future with Open Arms

The future of nonprofits is intertwined with technology, and the smart use of donor data is at the forefront of this revolution. By embracing tech tools, tech partners, and analytics, you can build stronger relationships with donors, run more effective campaigns, and make a greater impact on the world.