FUNDRAISING NEWS: Muscular Dystrophy alters tack

ANNIE KELLY

The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is to expand its major donor division in an effort to become less reliant on legacy income.

At present legacies account for around 30 per cent of its voluntary revenue.

The fundraising department is to start placing greater emphasis on forming close relationships with individual donors in an attempt to create a more stable revenue base.

"We've had notable success with legacy fundraising, but want to start establishing more regular income streams,

said Elaine Bennett, fundraising director at Muscular Dystrophy. "We've identified major donors as an area of potential growth and want to really push forward and start forging profitable alliances to help us develop and grow."

The charity will appoint a head of major donors and legacies to implement a new fundraising strategy. Bennett believes the charity must work to link the two channels together to maximise the potential of high-value supporters.

"Our success lies in exploiting all possible links and making sure we're getting the most out of every relationship we form,

she said. "In this instance, the two channels fit together and this post is designed to draw our relationships with supporters through from making regular gifts to leaving a legacy donation."

Bennett said that the move reflected the recent success that it has had with major donors and individual givers.

"As yet we don't have the profile or brand recognition to roll out general fundraising campaigns,

said Bennett. "The launch of a major donor division and the appointment of a director to head this department reflects the direction we're planning to take."

"It's all about spotting possible links, generating solid leads and then closing the link,

she continued. "Some of our greatest successes have come from cultivating individual relationships that have then morphed into corporate partnerships or sponsored events."

The charity is also boosting its recruitment fundraising with a series of face-to-face campaigns designed to target a younger audience.

"We're working on the same premise with our recruitment drive as with the rest of our fundraising activity,

said Bennett. "It's all about getting a one-to-one dialogue going with potential supporters to try and communicate exactly what we do and why their support is needed."

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