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New CEP Resource Outlines 5 Things Nonprofits Want Donors to Know

Date: June 5, 2018

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Media Contact: Grace Nicolette, Vice President, Programming and External Relations: (617) 492-0800 x236

Cambridge, MA — A new resource from the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) lays out five things that nonprofit leaders want donors to know so donors can best support nonprofit organizations to do their most effective work. Donors: 5 Things Nonprofits Want You to Know highlights understanding the needs of constituents and building donor-nonprofit relationships that are grounded in understanding and openness among other points that nonprofits want their donors to prioritize.

“Nonprofit leaders have specific ideas for how donors can best support them, but the power imbalance between the two means it’s not always easy for nonprofits to express those things,” said Ellie Buteau, vice president, research, at CEP. “When we looked at what CEP has heard from more than 100,000 nonprofit leaders through candid, anonymous feedback over the last 15 years, five distinct themes emerged for what nonprofits want their donors to know.”

CEP’s research shows these five things to be: 1.) Understanding the needs of the constituents that nonprofits are serving is essential for donors and nonprofits alike; 2.) Strong relationships between donors and nonprofits are grounded in understanding and openness; 3.) Generous, unrestricted financial support best enables nonprofit leaders to strengthen their organizations; 4.) Most nonprofits want to assess their performance so they can learn and improve, and they could use more support to do this; and 5.) Providing support beyond money can help nonprofit staffs strengthen their skills, make important connections, and better pursue their missions.

The resource is CEP’s first for individual donors.

“CEP has spent more than 16 years developing data-based resources about effective philanthropic practice for foundations, and we believe that some of our insights are broadly applicable and useful regardless of the structure that major donors use for giving,” said Grace Nicolette, vice president, programming and external relations, at CEP. “This resource captures several of those insights, and we believe it will be helpful for donors seeking to be more effective in their giving, as well as for wealth management advisors and staff at community foundations and donor-advised fund providers.”

The resource is available here.

More donor-specific content from CEP can be found at

About the Center for Effective Philanthropy

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide data and create insight so philanthropic funders can better define, assess, and improve their effectiveness and impact. CEP received initial funding in 2001 and has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and San Francisco, California. For more information on CEP’s work, including its research, programming, and assessment and advisory services, see

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