All of our fundraising advice and guidance is grounded in the findings of the Commission on the Donor Experience.
This means we subscribe to its blueprint called the 6Ps. This sets out the goals, principles and tools available for charities to learn from, copy and adapt, so that they are able to look at fundraising from the perspective of the donor, not the needs of the charity.
Fundraising charities will only earn the public trust, confidence and respect they need if they place the interests, convenience and positive experiences of their supporters as their top priority.
- Permanent change
This is not about short-term cosmetic solutions. We need a lasting culture change that goes deep into our people and our organisations, and which challenges conventional practices and attitudes.
Fundraisers must be judged by longer-term, more donor-friendly criteria rather than just by income raised now. New criteria should include retention, satisfaction, non-financial engagement, future giving intentions, loyalty, commitment and lifetime value.
- Pillars of change
Our 12 pillars of change focus on integrity, skills, education and leadership, and are designed to ensure that values and creativity can be turned into achievable and practical action.
- Promise to donors
By making a public commitment to donors, supporters will better understand and appreciate their role in bringing about change. So, the challenge to charities is “What new Promise will you make to donors?”
- Practical actions
From the use of language and emotion, through to different tools and techniques, through to trustee boards, service culture and investment, this is a comprehensive resource covering many different aspects of fundraising, and which is available for all to use.
From a PR and Communications perspective, our advice will always follow that set out in the Commission’s “Project 22” led by the late Tim Kitchin:
- Accentuate the Positive
- Communicate the positive impact of your work as much as the problems you address.
- Specifically, work to bring project outcomes to life, particularly by using them to authentic voices and enliven your annual reporting
- Grow the Grassroots
- Seek out the authentic voices of your most committed supporters and beneficiaries, and inspire them to talk freely on your behalf.
- Specifically, allow, empower and encourage local evangelists to use social media on your behalf, and agree on protocols and training to engage with mass media
- Work closely with the media
- Build collaborative media partnerships that engage readers and viewers, and which offer win-wins with media and advertising supporters.
- Specifically, create fundraising propositions that have the media as a partner, rather than merely as a ‘channel.’
- Keep it Personal
- Communicate at a human level, across all channels, at all times.
- Specifically, explain beneficiaries’ experiences as personal stories that connect with donors’ real lives, and encourage donors to tell their own stories of emotional connection.
- Be Brave
- Don’t be afraid to assert a measure of moral authority – in a humble way. Don’t be afraid to lead change on behalf of your donors and beneficiaries.
- Specifically, stand up for the work you do by celebrating its impact, while still acknowledging the work that remains to be done. Behave as if you were providing ‘shareholder guidance’ and quarterly forecasts.
- Be Decisive
- Admit quickly when you screw up – and change things.
- Specifically, take decisive actions to honour donors’ needs in terms of your behaviour – and tell people when you’ve done it.
Cost: TBC on scale and scope of the work, but typically c.£5k-10k.