CDE project 9: putting the prin­ci­ples and actions into prac­tice — part 8

Written by
The Commission on the Donor Experience
April 21, 2017

Looking and behaving like one organisation

Major donor fundraising—more than any other type of fundraising—involves the whole organisation looking and behaving as one organisation. There needs to be a single story about the organisation’s direction, strategy and key priorities that everyone communicates consistently, including the local parts of a national organisation or the national parts of an international organisation.

Everyone has a part to play to in making major donors truly feel like insiders of the organisation including:

  • Trustees.
  • The CEO and leadership team.
  • Programme and service delivery staff—and key here is that they support the organisational story not focus on just their area of interest and expertise.
  • Support staff.
  • Fundraisers, who, of course, are the linch-pin, orchestrating the whole organisation’s relationship with the donor.

Three actions are key:

1. Build strong internal relationships and colleagues’ understanding of major donor fundraising. Make sure everyone who will interact with major donors understands the importance of this group to your organisation and their role in managing major donor relationships.

2. Comprehensively brief colleagues who meet major donors to ensure they are ‘on message’. 

3. Make sure no one promises something to a donor they, or the organisation, cannot deliver.

Click on the image below to view project 9 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.

Related case studies or articles

CDE project 9 summary: major donors

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.

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CDE project 9: the approach

There is a clear implication that improving the major donor experience is important to major donors, to individual organisations and to the charitable sector as a whole. This project of the Commission aims to suggest how.

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CDE project 9: putting the principles and actions into practice - part 1

Improve the (major) donor experience by… being really clear about what a major donor to your organisation actually is. 

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CDE project 9: putting the principles and actions into practice - part 2

Deciding whether major donor fundraising is really right for your organisation.

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CDE project 9: putting the principles and actions into practice - part 4

Seeing the relationship from the donor’s point of view. 

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CDE project 9: links across the Commission projects

Links between the major donors project and all of the other projects of the Commission.

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CDE project 9: appendix 3 - methodology

As explained in the ‘Approach’ section, the project draws conclusions from the sources listed here.

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