This is an important question because it tells you why people think you are worth funding - which can help you convince others to donate to your cause as well.
If you know that 80% of your major donors support your organization because of programs that help families affected by addiction issues, then you know those are the programs to highlight in your fundraising materials.
Donors have a hard choice to make. They're confronted with many different organizations, all helping people in great need, and all asking for their financial support. They may want to contribute to everyone. But they can't. They have to pick and choose - carefully - where their money will do the most good.
Don't assume you know what your donors are thinking. Sure, you may have a great relationship. But have you ever directly asked them what it is about your work that prompts them to support you financially?
I'll give you an example:
I was working on a case statement.
My client held a unique position in the community, providing many services that people could otherwise not afford, and couldn't get anywhere else. So naturally I talked about their impact in terms of number of clients they saw each year that otherwise would have had to go without care.
Then I had a conversation with one of their long-time supporters. And she told me I had it all wrong. The real value in her eyes was in my client's unique quality of care.
It was great that they were taking care of people that otherwise wouldn't be able to find help. But the thing that set them apart from all the other organizations competing for funding was their quality of care. They were on the cutting edge of treatment, developing treatment programs that couldn't be found anywhere else. And that was what motivated people to give their financial support.
Now personally, I still lean towards the quantity of people my client provides services to as their most important impact on the community.
But I'm not the one paying their bills.