BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s Give.org) released the Give.org Donor Trust Special Report on Charity Impact. This survey shows that almost half of adult Americans (47%) are unclear about what “charity impact” means. While it has become a common assumption that donors seek highly impactful organizations, the survey results show that this is an incomplete picture. Also, while individual donors care about immediate results and volume of programs, they put higher importance on long-term results and depth. These results are based on an electronic survey of more than 2,100 adults across the United States and more than 1,000 adults in Canada conducted during December 2020.
In general, publicly-soliciting charities have an obligation to monitor their effectiveness, seek to strengthen their impact, and share this information with their governing boards and others. These survey findings help place charity impact information in perspective. It is but one aspect of charity activity that is of potential donor interest, and not the sole focus of their attention. Charities also should be more specific when communicating about charity impact as a significant portion of the public is uncertain as to what this term means. For additional details, see the press release as well as the full report.