Fundraisers and academics plan Commission on the Donor Experience

The group, including Giles Pegram, Adrian Sargeant, Beth Breeze and Ken Burnett, wants to put donors at the heart of fundraising strategies

Group wants to change fundraising for the better
Group wants to change fundraising for the better

A group of leading fundraisers and academics are drawing up plans for a commission that will consider how donors can be put at the centre of fundraising strategies.

The initiative, which is expected to be called the Commission on the Donor Experience, will look at how donors view and interact with fundraisers, with the aim of building trust and confidence in the work that charities do and how they raise money.

A number of well-known fundraisers and academics, including Giles Pegram, Adrian Sargeant, Beth Breeze and Stephen Lee, have given their backing to the initiative, which is expected to publish a report next year.

The draft terms of reference for the commission say it will gather examples of good practice in fundraising and share them so they might become commonplace across the sector.

It is expected to consider how charities attract new donors and look at possible restrictions on or changes to techniques that might be seen as intrusive. It might also define ways of giving donors choice in how they are contacted and communicated with.

The group wants to demonstrate a determination to end fundraising practices that make donors uncomfortable and put concern for a high-quality donor experience at the heart of fundraising practice.

The fundraising consultant Ken Burnett, who with Pegram has been contacting people in the sector to gauge support, said: "Others are quite rightly looking at regulation and the codes of practice.

"We are going to be focusing on how we can make sure that fundraising has nothing to apologise for and the donor is at the heart of it."

He said he did not want to say too much about the initiative at this stage while Sir Stuart Etherington’s review of fundraising regulation continued. He said the group would not be launched officially until after the recommendations of Etherington’s review had been fully digested.

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