CDE project 11a: the approach

Written by
The Commission on the Donor Experience
April 30, 2017

Mass market fundraising covers many media channels, direct response television (DRTV), press, out of home (for example, billboards) and many others. In the context of fundraising, above the line channels are used primarily for donor recruitment. Additionally, charities recruit events participants, raffle players, legacy pledgers and undertake other forms of engagement through mass media campaigns. 

In line with the overall objectives of the Commission on the Donor Experience this report will consider the overall experience that we are looking to create for donors. This positive experience will start at the first point of contact between the charity and the supporter, which will be the advert and the following engagement. All good fundraising is about fulfilling a supporter need and making good on our promise to them about how we use their money. 

The Commission for the Donor Experience seeks to look at fundraising, in this instance mass market fundraising, from the point of view of the donor. 

The approach is therefore to set up an honest and mutually beneficial relationship of donor satisfaction from the moment they see an initial communication message. This is the creation of a promise and the fulfilment of that promise.

The promise

Established in the advertising communication, the promise is an honest representation of the problem. How the charity can turn your (the donors’) support into helping the beneficiary who is more important to the donor than the charity. In return for your support we, the charity, will provide you with feedback on how you are helping.

The fulfilment of the promise

Deliver what we said we would to the donor, be that in the form of updates, thank you actions and other elements. We put the focus on retention as opposed to rapid upgrades and reactivations.

This might sound simple. However, there is a lot of work to cost effectively execute mass market fundraising and making sure all the elements are in place to keep donors happy. Great retention programs increase long term donor value and create engaged supporters. We also should consider that not everyone is the same, and for those people that want minimal communication we should consider how we identify and communicate with them as well.

This approach will be based in the principles of:

  • Honesty of presentation of the problem
  • Honesty of the ask
  • Respect for the beneficiaries
  • Fulfilling a supporter promise

Click on the image below to see project 11a in full - PDF format

About the author: The Commission on the Donor Experience

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.

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