It wants to increase its voluntary income over the next five years from 4.5 per cent to 7.7 per cent of its current total income.
Chief executive Clare Tickell said the new money would be used to influence government policy, funding and legislation for the most vulnerable children and young people and to develop new services outside the charity's usual commission-driven contract work with local authorities.
At the moment, voluntary income accounts for £10m of NCH's total income of £219m. It aims to increase this to £17m. About 90 per cent of income comes from statutory sources, and the charity says it needs to emphasise its independence.
Tickell said the new strategy was not explicitly aimed at reducing the proportion of NCH income from the state, but she added: "It's incredibly important for us to have voluntary income because it allows us to be independent and campaign fearlessly, and it underlines that we are a charity and not simply a service provider."
The strategy is based around increasing the number of large single gifts and legacies the charity receives through activities tailored to supporters' needs. NCH is investing in a new fundraising database and is appointing a new team to drive the strategy.
"It's important for us to be able to identify in real time exactly what is happening on the ground in our services and respond as quickly as we see it rather than waiting for a long convoluted commissioning process to take place," said Tickell
The charity hopes the new services will replicate the success of its much-vaunted Dundee Families Project for anti-social families. Begun in the mid-90s, this became the model for government policy and is to be rolled out to all local authority areas.