NFPs Failing to Communicate Impact
30 September 2010 at 1:28 pm
A new study into Not for Profit communications by UK think tank New Philanthropy Capital has found that organisations are good at describing what they do but many fail to clearly communicate the impact they have in people’s lives.
New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) analysed the annual reports, impact reports and website of 20 of the top 100 UK fundraising NFPs.
The report found that while nearly all (90%) the NFPs surveyed were good at describing what they do, only four it ten (41%) clearly communicated the difference they make in people’s lives.
According to NPC donors consistently say that the most important factors in trusting charities are how the money is spent and what it achieves. They say NFPs are missing an opportunity to communication to potential supporters what they want to know.
NPC says nine years of researching NFPs has shown a chasm in the Not for Profit sector between rhetoric around impact and reality.
Key findings include:
- Larger NFPs were no better than smaller NFPs when it came to reporting on impact.
- Only 43% of NFPs showed how their achievements were related to their plans and mission.
- Only two-thirds (65%) actually talked about the problem and needs their NFP was addressing.
NPC says that while it is true that most NFPs are aware of the importance of measuring and communicating impact and outcomes, their experience suggests that this has not yet translated into the practice of NFPs routinely measuring and communicating their impact.
The report acknowledges that measuring outcomes and impact is rarely straightforward, but says charities can successfully communicate their impact by addressing the following five questions:
- What is the problem we are trying to address?
- What do we do to address it?
- What are we achieving?
- How do we know what we are achieving?
- What are we learning, and how can we improve?
New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is a UK-based consultancy and think tank dedicated to helping funders and charities to achieve a greater impact.
Download the full report at www.philanthropycapital.org