The Commission on the Donor Experience

CDE project 6 section 2: the emotional fundraising showcase

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

In part 2 of CDE’s project on the use and misuse of emotion we've collected some PowerPoint presentations, several articles and a series of videos that show aspects of emotional storytelling.

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CDE All the project summaries in one report

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

CDE All the project summaries in one report here.

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CDE Contents

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

List of all the CDE project summaries and where to find them on SOFII.

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CDE project 1 section 1: rethink language to reflect, respect and engage with the views and feelings of supporters

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 1 section 10: appendices

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Three appendices to flesh out CDE Project 1: the use and misuse of language

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CDE project 1 section 2: talk less about the charity and more about the cause, the work, the beneficiaries and the supporters

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Named, and ideally pictured, people who are most directly involved in delivering solutions to beneficiaries show the ‘human face’ of the work of the charity and provide readers with an identifiable connection.

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CDE project 1 section 4: communicate values, and do it consistently.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part four of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience

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CDE project 1 section 5: subvert expectations.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part five of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience.

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CDE project 1 section 6: use inclusive, accessible language and avoid jargon.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part six of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience.

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CDE project 1 section 7: invite feedback and turn it into dialogue.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part seven of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience

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CDE project 1 section 8: make contact permissions options work for supporters.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part eight of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience

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CDE project 1 section 9: test your communications to find out what works best for your charity and your supporters.

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Part nine of CDE's series on good practices plus examples of common misuses to help fundraisers use language appropriately so they can swiftly yet significantly improve the donor experience

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CDE project 1 summary: the use and misuse of language

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 10 appendix 1: case studies to showcase putting donors at the heart of legacy fundraising

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Four case studies are described here, each demonstrating strategy and behaviour in legacy inspiration that place the donor at the heart of its practices and activities.

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CDE project 10 appendix 1: Cystic Fibrosis Trust

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust recognised that, as a charity in which the condition they were seeking to address was responsible for early death, the subject of legacies was a difficult one to introduce to their core audience and beyond – people with CF and their families and friends.

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CDE project 10 appendix 1: Remember a Charity

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This case study illustrates an insight-driven and donor-led campaign.

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CDE project 10 appendix 1: UNICEF UK

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

UNICEF UK had reviewed its legacy strategy and concluded that it needed to engage a wider audience and to reach more people while simultaneously finding innovative ways to engage existing supporters.

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CDE project 10 appendix 1: WaterAid

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This case study was put forward for an Institute of Fundraising Legacy Award and highlights the combination of strategy, marketing and culture to promote legacies in a more donor-friendly way.

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CDE project 10 section 1: an overview of and background to legacy fundraising

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

To leave a legacy is a natural human desire. Since the beginning of history, human beings have striven to pass on something of ourselves to future generations.

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CDE project 10 section 2: legacy fundraising today and the opportunity before us

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

In the past 15 to 20 years, legacy fundraising has embraced new forms of reach and engagement. The rise of digital platforms and other media have increased and developed engagement.

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CDE project 10 section 3: putting the donor-led experience at the heart of legacy fundraising growth

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

What do donors need and want in order to make the giving of a gift in their wills meaningful, normal, joyful, easy and rewarding?

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CDE project 10 section 4 part 1: the approach used in this report and the basis for these conclusions

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

To draw together some inputs, ideas and contributions that shaped some of the conclusions and recommendations in this paper, we have organised the collection of insights around four areas.

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CDE project 10 section 4 part 2: the experiences and needs of donors and their families

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

At the heart of the challenge of providing the best experience are the primary wishes of the donors and their families. 

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CDE project 10 section 4 part 3: how the donor might behave and how can we use insight to improve experience

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Much has been written about the power of emotion and at the heart of thinking about how these can be used in legacy fundraising, the following are links to four resources pertaining to the art and science of emotion.

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CDE project 10 section 4 part 4: the organisation’s culture, capacity and experience

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Creating a positive experience for legacy donors or for those enquiring about becoming such donors requires a much wider contribution and understanding from the organisation.

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CDE project 10 section 5: the legacy marketing, fundraising and influence method and experience

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The majority of legacy gifts are made without revealing intent in life. We have indicated reasons that this focus may actually drive engagement away rather than encourage openness.

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CDE project 10 section 6: the probate and legacy administrative experience and approach

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The donor experience is complex, and there are a variety of experiences that donors may with a charity during their journey. 

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CDE project 10 summary: legacies

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This project will look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current model of legacy fundraising and identify how we make sure that people feel encouraged to include charities in wills.

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CDE project 11 summary: communication with individual donors

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Project 11 is made up of six different sub projects investigating how the donor experience can be enhanced via different channels commonly used in communicating with individual donors.

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CDE project 11: part 2 - case study

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Joe Jenkins, director of supporter impact and income at The Children’s Society explains their new integrate strategy to engage with new cohorts of supporters.

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CDE project 11: part 2 - guidance on integration

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Integrated fundraising is meant to be the fundraisers weapon to combat the abundance of ways we can now communicate with, and listen to, our supporters.

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CDE project 11: part 2 - tools and tips

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Here are some tools and tips that can help you improve your everyday integration.

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CDE project 11: part 3 - a data-driven strategy for direct communications

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

By getting the data basics right, it will mean a charity can communicate with its supporters in a way they feel respected and it engenders a positive supporter experience.

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CDE project 11: part 3 - it’s all about the ‘How’

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

How to develop a data-driven strategy that will deliver?

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CDE project 11a summary: mass media

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Mass market media does not lend itself to a one size fits all best practice guide. The brand position, budget, fundraising product and area of work will greatly determine the approach you take.

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CDE project 11b summary: direct mail

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

How can we plan better as a sector to avoid individuals being inundated with our communications and ensure that that our messages get the attention they deserve rather than all being lost in such a crowded space?

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CDE project 11c digital section 1: the approach

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Digital, mobile and email fundraising did not feature a great deal in the Etherington report of 2015 - or the maelstrom of media focus following the tragic death of Olive Cooke. 

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CDE project 11c digital section 2 part 1: putting the principles and actions into practise

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Technological innovation and its use for charity - Understand and design based on donor preferences - Online Journeys

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CDE project 11c digital section 2 part 2: putting the principles and actions into practise

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Usability - General website usability - Accessibility - Language use - Storytelling - Storytelling and conversations

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CDE project 11c digital section 2 part 3: putting the principles and actions into practise

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Marketing consent - Email marketing - Mobile-oriented design and browser adaptation - Search Engine Optimisation - How donations are accepted

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CDE project 11c summary: digital

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This guidance is intended to help fundraisers, supporter engagement staff and the organisation you work for to design better online supporter experiences that engage and delight them. 

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CDE project 11d community section 1

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The approach & Value of the Community Fundraising Sector.

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CDE project 11d community section 2

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Putting the principles and actions into practice - Volunteering - Methodology

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CDE project 11d summary: community

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Community fundraising is sometimes referred to as regional, local or volunteer fundraising, and encompasses a broad spectrum of fundraising work that takes place either on or offline in the community.

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CDE project 11e summary: telephone

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The telephone is a powerful and engaging channel of communication to reach donors and supporters when it is used within a multi-channel communication strategy.

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CDE project 11e telephone: case study - Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools, Edinburgh

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The problem we wanted to solve, an the idea we wanted to test.

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CDE project 11e telephone: case study - Save the Children

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Agency Selection - Supporter Centricity - Preference Captures - Training and Engagement - Monitoring - Supporter Feedback - Learnings - Challenges. 

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CDE project 11e telephone: case study - The Bible Society

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The Bible Society calling philosophy and what we have learnt over the last five years.

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CDE project 11e telephone: conclusion and about the authors

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The telephone, or voice to voice communication in general, should be one of the most effective engagement channels available to charities.

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CDE project 11e telephone: how we arrived at these summary principles – our approach

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

We took a two-pronged approach to reaching these summary principles.

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CDE project 11e telephone: key findings

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

We would like to highlight what we believe to be 6 key findings around charities’ use of the telephone in delivering a high-quality donor experience.

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CDE project 11f face to face: appendices 1 and 2 - case studies and sources

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Case studies and sources.

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CDE project 11f face to face: appendix 3 - methodology

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

My approach to pulling this paper together was to firstly reach in to the depths of my own experiences over the past 16 years.

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CDE project 11f face to face: putting the principles and actions into practice

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

  • Welcoming the supporter and further communication.
  • Upholding Good Practices
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CDE project 11f face to face: section 2 - agreeing the principles of your relationship

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

How to implementing a practical strategic process successfully. 

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 3 - The Door Fundraising Rulebook

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Rules and principles.

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 4 - recruitment and training

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Recruitment of your fundraisers and/ or your external specialist agency.

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 5 - ongoing development

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

By investing more in staff over their initial induction period, you can keep more staff, and retain more of the supporters that they go on to recruit.

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 6 - involvement devices and props

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

In 2004, Gift Fundraising took Personal Digital Assistants to the street for the first time! Gone were the paper mandate forms, (unless the server was down), and the novelty of the personal data system was unleashed upon the face to face world. 

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 7 - location and integration

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Over the last 5 years, face to face fundraising has been moving to private sites. The danger here is that the annoyance of face to face is just moving location.

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 8 - public relations

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Celebrating face to face publicly and changing the perception of what a face to face fundraiser is should be looked at in earnest. Some members of the public simply find it an annoying interruption in their day-to-day lives.

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CDE project 11f face to face: section 9 - auditing and compliance

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Auditing the agencies that fundraise on your behalf is crucial to gaining a full understanding of whether they comply with your policies, and those of our regulators.

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CDE project 11f: face to face

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The following paper looks at the way the experience for face to face fundraisers, both within agencies or in-house operations, has a direct impact on the way a supporter then experiences their journey with you as a charity.

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CDE project 12: inspirational creativity

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 13 section 1 summary: giving choices and managing preference

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This project will look at the systems that have been implemented, how they work 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 causes.

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CDE project 13 section 2: the introduction

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Supporting a cause you care about can bring benefits and pleasures that can far exceed the satisfaction of a good buy. Done well, each donor should go on a journey: from reassurance, to trust, to growing value (for them and you) to loyalty.

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CDE project 13 section 3: the theory

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Action, conflict (problem) and resolution (solution). Three simple steps at the heart of how we communicate. And in fundraising terms, three steps which bring the donor and the charity together for mutual benefit.

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CDE project 13 section 4: commercial examples of managing preferences

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

A series of examples of how to manage your donor's preferences.

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CDE project 13 section 5: what can charities teach us about managing preferences?

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

A series of case studies to illustrate the points made in project 13.

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CDE project 13 section 6: bringing it all together

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Offering choices and managing preferences helps them to be relevant and interesting to their customers, building brand loyalty and customer value. 

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CDE project 13 section 7: bibliography

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The full bibliography for all sources cited in project 13

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CDE project 14 appendix 4: insight profiling

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Insight Discovery is a model that measures behavioural preferences. It uses a system of four colours to describe different styles of behaviour.

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CDE project 14 section 1: our approach and putting the principles and actions into practice

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The following are examples of some of our recommendations and observations in action from the people we met, current contacts and clients, and what we have seen across the sector.

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CDE project 14 summary: getting the right people as fundraisers

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 14: appendix 1

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Here is the full lists of attributes of a donor-focused fundraiser drawn from the surveys and focus groups we conducted.

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CDE project 14: appendix 2 and 3

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Examples of donor-centred behaviour in fundraisers as described to us by those we interviewed.

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CDE project 15 appendix 1 & 2

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

CDE project 15 appendix 1 and 2: the role of trustee boards and senior managers 

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CDE project 15 appendix 3

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

A series of conversations with trustees, CEOs, fundraisers and others close to the sector about governance.

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CDE project 15 appendix 4

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Literature Review by Angela Routley

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CDE project 15 summary: the role of trustee boards and senior managers

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 16 section 2: case examples, tips and links

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This section provides top tips from fundraisers, some case examples, links to helpful blogs and other useful sources of information that help to illustrate each of the actions recommended in the summary.  

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CDE project 16 section 3: appendix

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

This appendix concludes CDE project 16: creating a distinctive service culture by outlining a standard for excellent supporter service.

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CDE project 16 summary: creating a distinctive service culture

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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CDE project 17 section 1: the approach

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

In this project we were seeking to answer the question: ‘What kind of leadership have you found increases the chances that a charity will operate in a donor-centred way?’

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CDE project 17 section 2.1: introduction

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

‘It’s about giving and engaging people, it’s this lovely virtuous cycle where you get to give money, and you get to do something yourself that actually makes a difference.’

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CDE project 17 section 2.2: ‘Define and champion’ and ‘Help people see’

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

‘You need to develop that sense of shared consciousness…so we all know what the picture is, what we’re striving collectively to do and we’ve got permission to get on and do it.’

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CDE project 17 section 2.3: your organisation’s purpose

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Focus attention on why changing the way you work with supporters is something you must do, not just something you should do.

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CDE project 17 section 2.4: your definition of success

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Define and reinforce what success looks like in terms of your supporter’s experience.

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CDE project 17 section 2.5: relentlessly reinforce the vision and make it visible

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Richard Spencer explained that one way he helped put the point of view of the supporter at the forefront of people’s minds was by circulating a weekly results update.

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CDE project 17 section 3.1: people build great relationships

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

'Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.'

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CDE project 17 section 3.2: inside-out leadership

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

It is not about changing others – it is about changing yourself first.

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CDE project 17 section 3.3: trust - risk - people

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Richard Turner said that one of the most powerful shifts he has ever made as a leader was deciding to spend time every week with the people he manages. 

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CDE project 17 section 4.1: culture - create an adaptable, empowered environment

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

A major turning point for Solar Aid came when their leaders decided to focus their efforts on solving one challenge in particular: the fact that the most common source of light in the evening for many people was the kerosene lamp.

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CDE project 17 section 4.2: the game is different now

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

The challenge is that the world in the 21st century is fundamentally different to the 20th century. Changes in technology have had a huge impact on the environment in which charities now operate.

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CDE project 17 section 4.3: we now need a different kind of leadership

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Develop a shared consciousness. Model it. Be consistent.

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CDE project 17 section 4.4: devolve responsibility - growth mind-set

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Empower everyone to think for themselves and take action.

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CDE project 17 section 4.5: culture

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

Ideas and activities that will help you create an adaptable, empowered environment

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CDE project 17 section 5: conclusion

by The Commission on the Donor Experience

If our charities are to respond and help supporters solve the problems they care about, leaders need to deliberately cultivate an environment that is adaptable, informed and empowered.

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About the author

The CDE has one simple ideal – to place donors at the heart of fundraising. The aim of the CDE is to support the transformation of fundraising, to change the culture to a truly consistent donor-based approach to raising money. It is based on evidence drawn from first hand insight of best practice. By identifying best practice and capturing examples, we will enable these to be shared and brought into common use.