A Profile With Impact: Kudos to Mote Marine Laboratory, by Rebekah Leopold

July 25, 2012

We love to provide support when nonprofits begin crafting profiles in The Giving Partner. One of the ways we do that is by showing how to convey information in a meaningful and impactful way.

Mote Marine Laboratory has created an exceptional example of how to effectively create a profile. I have highlighted some imitation-worthy sections of their profile and why it works so nicely. First, some general writing tips to keep in mind:

  • Be succinct. Brief and compelling writing is more effective than a lengthy narrative that may not be read. Much of the information is best presented as a bulleted list, such as the needs statement.
  • Make it clear. Many people who come to The Giving Partner to read a profile will not know much about the organization beforehand. Informative profiles clearly convey the nonprofit’s mission and impact.
  • Stick to the truth. The information given will be seen by funders, board members, donors, clients and the general public. Honesty and accuracy are essential.
  • Review review review! No one likes to see spelling and grammar errors. Ask multiple people to read your profile and give their opinion and impression. Is it succinct and clear? Is it compelling?

The impact statement in Mote’s profile is presented as a list, making it easy to read. The impact statement should include three to five concrete, specific accomplishments and goals of the organization that relate to the strategic plan.

The background statement is usually presented as a narrative and key components that make this section stand out are:

  • A brief history of the organization and its impact over the years
  • Emphasis on why the organization is important and what community needs it is addressing
  • Features that makes the organization unique

Mote also did a good job in highlighting their Programs. It is not necessary to list all of the organization’s programs; in fact there are effective profiles that only list one. Stick to including the programs that are essential to the organization’s impact. Mote shows how each program presented is unique and serves a different purpose, while being relevant to the overall mission.

The Examples of Program Success section offers an opportunity to showcase impact and successes. This should incorporate:

  • Anecdotes and stories: A meaningful way to convey results of the program on a personal and individual level.
  • Measured success: Informative and impressive statistics that can include how many people are served, the outcome of your service, or the growth and reach of the program over time.
  • Testimonials: Quoted or summarized from the program’s clients, demonstrating the impact from someone else’s perspective.

Remember, we are always here for help and support. The Giving Partner can answer general questions, help with writing content, and provide sample policies, plans or documents.

Thank you to Mote Marine for serving as a great example of an effective nonprofit profile.


Guest blogger Rebekah Leopold is a recent graduate of Riverview High School’s International Baccalaureate Program and will be attending Boston University this fall to study Economics and Sociology. She is working as a summer hire for the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.


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