Visibility: More Urgent Than Ever


Giving USA reports Americans gave a staggering $390 billion to nonprofit organizations in 2016, representing a 2.7% increase over 2015 and a third consecutive year of philanthropic growth. Even adjusting for inflation, giving is at an all-time high. What does visibility have to do with this happy news?

The key lies in whether your organization is getting its piece of this ever-growing pie.

For most nonprofits, particularly those in the environmental and animal sector (which at 7.2% had the fastest rate of growth of all sub-sectors), the answer is yes. Online giving is fueling increases among donors demanding digital means of making gifts.

But not everybody is celebrating.

Competition on the Rise, Too

If you ask fundraisers whether this good news means they are finally off-the-hook, they’ll laugh. Competition for gift dollars is also growing, they’ll say. Why? Simple. There are more nonprofits competing for those dollars than ever before, too.

In 2015 there were 1.24 million nonprofits, a 3% increase over the previous year, according to Christina Yoon, senior consultant, Campbell & Company.

This means visibility within your donor community is more important than ever, noted panelist Stacy Palmer, editor, Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Your donors and prospects need to first be aware of who you are, and second understand what you’re doing and how your work is affecting their issues and concerns. Even if you’re enjoying an increase in giving, you can’t afford to lose donors, can you?

Marketing, communication, messaging and fundraising have to work in concert for your communications to be effective. The world is a noisy place and it’s easy to get drowned out. Even your closest supporters need reminders and reinforcement.

It’s not about being loud, either. It’s about being clear who you are as an organization, being consistent and effective in getting your message out, and thus being visible in your community of supporters, volunteers, donors, members and other audiences.

Visibility, friends, is more urgent than ever before.


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