The Commission has defined 25 project areas that should be reviewed and addressed to improve donor experience.
The projects are grouped into four themes, a full list is provided below along with filters for each theme and those that cross-cut. You can also Download a Summary of all projects and planned outputs.
Each project brings together information already available - from books, publications, charity case studies and experts. They also draw on 'The Donor View' - the Commission's survey with the giving public. This survey brings the perspective of the giving public to each of the areas.
Each project has a project owner - who brings together the information, insights and recommendations into a concise summary. The more enthusiasts who are able to contribute to the project areas, then the better the overall outputs of the Commission.
Please contact the project owners directly (details on each page) or contact the Commission director Richard.
- The people – the human beings involved in making it all happen.
- The communications – the techniques and methods that charities use to connect donors with the cause
- The experience – what it feels like to be a donor or prospective donor.
- How it works – establishing some transparency around how modern charities work.
So often people in business inadvertently use language inappropriately, whether as insider speak, jargon, acronyms or just with insufficient thought, consideration or respect. This project will share good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience.Read more
Everyone has a right to be part of a key attribute of our society – giving to charities. Equally, no one should feel pressurised into giving and this is especially true at times of vulnerability. This project will propose updated guidance and recommendations for rigorous best practice in this crucial area, where fundraisers must be seen to be caring, sensitive and above suspicion or concern.Read more
Traditionally fundraisers measure success in money raised now. But as indicators of long-term commitment several factors are more important and more useful than the ubiquitous, historic RFV tool (recency, frequency and value). This project will create a practical guide to measuring these other main indices and will show where relevant research and examples of best practice can be found.Read more
First impressions count. It’s in the early stages of contact that the foundations of mutually great relationships are shaped. This project will look at all aspects of the first few days of a donor’s contact with a cause, to set out – without making any assumptions as to what each individual might choose – the ideal way to get each relationship off to a good start and to show appreciation appropriately throughout it.Read more
Though each donor’s experience will be different, mapping the optimum path over time can be useful for both the donor and the fundraiser, with potential if planned wisely to greatly enhance the donor experience. This project will define the process and seek to be helpful to fundraisers wishing to offer their donors a truly satisfying, rewarding long-term experience.Read more
Fundraising is inevitably emotional and emotion is hugely powerful, so must be used responsibly and wisely. This project will consider whether and how emotion can be safely used in fundraising communications. It will define the opportunities and responsibilities that come with telling the truth well, with power and passion that can move people to action.Read more
This project will consider all aspects of this evolving field of corporate partnerships from the perspective of the donor - including directors, senior managers, selection panels and staff to identify ways of enhancing the experience to the benefit of all involved.Read more
Trusts and foundations are significant donors to charity but while most operate in ways substantially different from individual donors they have distinct needs in terms of requiring an exemplary and rewarding donor experience for trusts and their staff. This project will seek to define the best ways to deliver that experience for any trust or foundation.Read more
High net worth individuals are increasingly addressed by charities as a distinctly different group of donors requiring individually tailor-made cultivation and development plans. This project will look at what’s cutting edge in major donor development with a view to capturing these lessons and where appropriate suggesting how major donor experiences might be applied to other groups of donors too.Read more
Legacies are a significant source of income for many charities, so it is important to retain the confidence of those who have already included charities in their wills and to encourage more people to do likewise. This project will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of legacy fundraising and seek to identify how we make sure that people feel encouraged to include charities in wills.Read more
At its core fundraising with individual donors is all about effective communication. This project will look at all of the major ways that charities get their messages not just out but through, with a view to considering not just how each important area can offer a better donor experience but also how each of these channels can be seamlessly integrated to increase efficiency, make most sense to donors and further enhance the donor experience.Read more
Mass media is a widely used form of fundraising in the UK. How do we make sure this form of fundraising is the best it can be for donors and charities? Note: this workstream is part of project 11 on communications.Read more
Direct mail is a widely used form of fundraising in the UK. How do we make sure this form of fundraising is the best it can be for donors and charities? Note: this workstream is part of project 11 on communications.Read more
Digital is so much more than just 'a channel' or means of communication. It has the potential to transform the donor experience and the ways in which charity supporters experience the good work done by charities.Read more
Community fundraising is one of the most visible and varied forms of fundraising in the UK. How do we make sure this form of fundraising is the best it can be for donors and charities? Note: this workstream is part of project 11 on communications.Read more
Telephone fundraising is a widely used form of fundraising in the UK. How do we make sure this form of fundraising is the best it can be for donors and charities? Note: this workstream is part of project 11 on communications.Read more
Face to face fundraising is one of the most visible forms of fundraising in the UK. How do we make sure this form of fundraising is the best it can be for donors and charities? Note: this workstream is part of project 11 on communications.Read more
This project will seek to define both the potential and the desired standards for creative endeavour and also to define the ethical dilemmas around creative messaging - with a view to improving understanding of what donors might find acceptable and unacceptable.Read more
This project will look at the systems that have been implemented and the results they’ve achieved, with the aim of defining an ideal approach that offers donors practical choices and real control over the shape of their relationship with individual causesRead more
This project will consider the attributes that donors expect to see in the fundraisers they deal with and how recruiting specifically with those attributes in mind will significantly improve the donor experience.Read more
Fundraising’s evolving future will inevitably have profound implications for volunteer boards and senior management teams. This project will help them to understand the changes in their roles and to prepare for, contribute to and respond to fundraising’s new agenda.Read more
Notoriously, charities have consistently underinvested in even basic customer service, both people and systems, which undoubtedly affects the donor experience, particularly retention. This project will define the components of optimum levels and standards of donor service to ensure consistent quality experiences with the aim of defining a distinctive service standard to which all charities can aspire.
This project will seek to bring together the best practice and create practical guidance in hRead more
This project will define what makes great fundraising leaders and what leadership they need from their senior management colleagues and their board if they are to deliver the competent, motivating leadership that will sustain and direct the new style of fundraising that is evolving in Britain.Read more
This project will look at the basic fundraising model differently, to try to define how supporters in future can be used as channels and networks to spread opportunities, grow income and to provide donors and potential donors with a rich array of rewarding experiences.Read more
Every donor’s most pressing question is, ‘will my gift make a difference?’.
This project will look at how charities can communicate their impact, what donors would like to see and how charities can show donors that their money is making a difference.Read more
Donors often express concern about any money being spent on fundraising, despite evidence that appropriate investment in fundraising enables their contribution to be more effective by leveraging further donations. This project will identify the extent to which donors’ concerns on this topic are a barrier to giving, and how better fundraising practice can ensure that ‘the truth told well’ about fundraising costs can reassure those donors who are willing to engage with the issue.Read more
Some of the public’s interactions with fundraisers are not directly with charity staff but with people working for a commercial third party supplier. This project will aim to show fundraisers how to be an effective client and so to get the most for their donors from their prudent and well-managed investment in supplier services.Read more
Trust in charities has fallen dramatically in the past two years, on the back of repeated negative media coverage. As this has played out, the sector has struggled to respond in a co-ordinated and convincing way. Change is needed. How should charities structure their relationship with the media to help repair past damage and encourage the best environment within which to build both understanding and reputation for the fundraising sector so as to reinforce and promote exemplary donor experiences?Read more