“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.”

Booker T. Washington

Donors. They’re not bankers. They’re builders. They don’t invest for financial gain, they invest for impact. They’re planting seeds—not in the market, but in the fertile ground of change.

Donors aren’t shareholders clutching a ticket to a financial carousel. They’re visionaries, holding a key to a brighter tomorrow. The dividends they seek aren’t wrapped in dollar signs, but in progress. A smile on a child’s face. A community rebuilt. A family restored. That’s their currency.

Think of them as gardeners, not gold miners. They don’t sift through dirt for nuggets, they sow seeds and nurture growth. The blossoming flower, the towering tree, the thriving ecosystem—that’s their gold.

The yield they expect isn’t a profit margin. It’s an impact radius. Their return on investment is measured not in market gains—but in lives touched, futures shaped, worlds bettered. Their bottom line? Making a difference.

So, let’s redefine ROI. For donors, ROI isn’t Return on Investment. It’s Return on Impact. And our task as those who work in and around nonprofits? It’s to make sure their impact echoes, resonates, and ripples out into the world.

Turn their seeds into forests. Transform their investments into legacies. That’s the return they’re after.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.