It’s All About Community Impact

It’s All About Community Impact

It’s All About Community Impact

By Cheryl Peterson, Good Heart Grant Writer

Here I am, back to business. It’s been awhile, but I had a serious family challenge to deal with and we are now on the road to recovery and getting back into the groove of things. I’m sure you can relate and sometimes you just need to be there for your loved ones. So this week I need to finish up the postings for the last chapter of the simple to read guide on how to improve your nonprofit website titled “5 Easy Steps to WIN$$$ from Donors, Grantors and Sponsors” which you can order on Amazon and Bookbaby.

It’s all about Community Impact.

What do I mean by that? In a nutshell, how do the programs of your nonprofit organization meet the needs of your clients and what is the impact and/or outcome in your client’s lives and how does that positively impact the surrounding communities? In grant terminology nonprofits call their clients the target population or community populations. For example, a few of my clients serve at-risk youth. Now this is known as a target population or a community group of children/youth needing services. Once the need is identified of the community group, then the nonprofit organization develops programs that meet those needs that hopefully provide positive impact and the at-risk children/youth have good outcomes. Impact is measured in many ways, such as number of children/youth served, for instance how many children/youth did you feed? Provide new school clothes too? Supply backpacks?  Or impact can be measured by the increase in self-confidence because the at-risk children/youth was able to attend school with a full stomach, new clothing and able to get better grades as a result of attending after-school tutoring classes.

A great way to show community impact both in grant applications and on social media is through client testimony.

Most grant applications are dry and full of descriptions and data. Yet if I can enter one or two sentences telling a story about how a little 1st grader with her single mom was able to shop the first time for new school clothes, shoes and a new backpack with school supplies, and how she smiled and jumped up and down in the check-out line and was so happy to start school the next day and show of her new clothes, well then, this little testimony is going to make the whole grant application.

For social media, newsletters, donor letters, sponsors and websites, if nonprofits provide either a client testimony video of how happy a client is to have a roof over their heads after fleeing a domestic violence situation and/or a new mom and baby allowed their picture to be taken with a small testimony of receiving diapers, baby goods and clothes and had a place to call home, just this little sharing of client testimony gives the reader, donor, grantor and sponsor warm heart feelings and more willingly to fund your program.