CDE project 8 sec­tion 2: the approach

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

The approach

When I took on leadership of this project I wasn’t entirely sure what I was getting myself into. In the first place, I thought it was about what we, as trust fundraisers should expect from this category of funders. I very shortly came to realise however, that I needed to flip this on its head – it is about what trusts and foundations should expect from us, the charity sector that is seeking their support.

There are over 9,000 grant-making trusts in the UK, as well as their lottery and statutory counterparts. To survey and consult with each and every one of them about their preferences would take much more than the several months I had available. Additionally, consulting with the thousands of UK trust fundraisers and organisations seeking funding would be difficult during the busy summer and early autumn, especially as I am based in Scotland. I therefore decided to put out requests for contributions through a number of mailing lists, social media, a blog in UK Fundraising (an online magazine/resource), as well as discussions with representatives from a major legal firm in Scotland and the Association of Charitable Foundations (representing over 300 UK trusts), with fellow trust fundraising colleagues, and with other members of the Commission. Personally, I bring 14 years’ experience, passion and dedication as a trust fundraiser gained across four countries.

Whilst there were fewer responses than expected, the diverse range of contributors offered relatively consistent feedback.

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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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CDE project 8 summary: trusts and foundations

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.

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