Tim Hunter joins the Commission on the Donor Experience

Tim Hunter
Tim Hunter

Tim Hunter, director of fundraising at Oxfam, and Daphne Clarke, a donor who appeared on the BBC magazine strand The One Show as part of its coverage of charity fundraising last year, have joined the Commission on the Donor Experience to help produce recommendations for charities and donors on the ways in which they should interact.

Hunter and Clarke, a donor who took part in The One Show to help produce a letter that viewers could use to opt out of fundraising requests, will form part of a panel of 12 commissioners who will approve recommendations in up to 45 areas of fundraising thought to be in need of improvement.

The other commissioners include: the fundraising consultant Giles Pegram, who co-founded the commission; Beth Breeze, director of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent; Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society; and Lucy Siegle, a journalist for The Guardian and The One Show.

Richard Spencer, who was appointed as director of the commission late last year, told Third Sector that the recommendations would be formulated in the first instance by small groups of fundraisers based around the UK.

Two groups are already active, one looking at the language used in fundraising communications, the other at the issue of vulnerable donors.

The commission hosted an event for fundraisers in York on Friday to try to establish any further issues that were causing concern among donors.

The commission will also work with the universities of Plymouth and Kent to secure evidence about the needs of donors, said Spencer.

At a launch event in London yesterday, Sir Martyn Lewis, chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, who is also chairing the commission, said that over the coming year the commission would seek to produce separate "mini-bibles" for charities and donors, outlining how they should engage with each other.

The guide for charities would focus on how organisations should work with donors and involve them in their cause areas, he said, and the guide for donors would help them recognise the things they should be able to expect from the charities they support.

Stephen Dunmore, interim chief executive of the new Fundraising Regulator, said during the event that his organisation intended to draw on the work of the commission to help inform its guidance on good fundraising practice.

"There's no point in duplicating and doing things twice," he said. "So, in terms of gathering the evidence that we at the regulator need about the donor experience, I think the best way is to draw on the work of the commission.

"Eventually we will be the keepers of the Code of Fundraising Practice and the guidance, so if you're producing mini-bibles on fundraising from the perspective both of the donor and the fundraiser, I'm sure that will be a very useful thing to feed into the sort of guidance that we need to produce."

Responding to Dunmore, the fundraising consultant Ken Burnett, who helped to set up the commission, said: "We need to be clear, though, that we're not representing organisations for fundraisers. The only thing we're here to represent is the interest of the donor, the joy of giving and the satisfaction of supporting causes."

The event, intended principally as a way of launching the initiative to the media, was attended by about 20 people, including several commissioners and sponsors.

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