Commission on the Donor Experience outlines its focus areas for next six months

The 25 areas will include language, donor satisfaction, working with suppliers and media relations

Commission seeking to improve experience for donors
Commission seeking to improve experience for donors

The Commission on the Donor Experience has announced the 25 areas of fundraising it will focus on over the next six months with its initiative to improve the way that charities and donors interact.

The areas include the use and misuse of language, donor satisfaction and commitment, working with suppliers, and media relations and the public face of charities.

Groups of fundraisers led mostly by sector professionals have until the end of the year to come up with a list of recommendations as to how charities can improve their engagement with donors in each of the 25 areas.

The areas are grouped under four themes: the donor’s view, communicating the experience, the "right people" and how it works.

Group leaders, who have been recruited at events hosted by the commission and by means of its web page, include Stephen George, a fundraising consultant and vice-chair of the Institute of Fundraising; Tracy Griffin, director of fundraising at the housing charity Shelter; Morag Fleming, head of consulting at Alan Clayton Associates; and the fundraising strategy consultant Roger Lawson.

The fundraising consultant Ken Burnett, who helped to set up the commission, is leading a group investigating the use and misuse of emotion.

Fleming, who was appointed last week to lead the group focusing on supporter journeys, said she hoped charities would provide her with examples of materials they had sent out to supporters that were particularly effective.

She said one of the current problems in this area was that charities rarely differentiated their communications for people with different demographic profiles or donation patterns at the acquisition stage. She said she would be looking for a team of sector professionals to help her with the project.

In a statement issued today, the commission said: "The main projects will each address one of a diverse range of issues of great concern to both donors and fundraisers, issues that individually will have substantial impact on fundraising practice across the country."

Sir Martyn Lewis, chair of the commission and outgoing chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "Taken together, the collective analysis and outputs from all these projects will change forever the donor experience and the way that fundraising is done in Britain. They will ensure that rather than fundraisers’ targets, what’s best for the donor will from now be securely at the heart of fundraising strategies."

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the IoF, said the membership body supported the commission’s work and planned to share its insights with the fundraising community and take forward its legacy.

Asheem Singh, interim chief executive of the charity leaders body Acevo, said the commission’s work was of critical importance.

Fundraisers wishing to be part of the groups can sign up on the commission’s website: www.donor-experience.com.

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