WWF rejigs supporter team role after consolidating its 14 databases

Emma Maier

Environmental group WWF-UK has replaced its fundraising department with a new division that will be responsible for supporting campaigners as well as donors.

The new supporter relationship management team has been charged with doubling the charity's 315,000-strong active financial donor base, as well as building its existing bank of campaigners.

The move follows the consolidation of the charity's 14 supporter databases, which each hold information about separate areas such as membership or direct-debit donors, into a single information bank.

The charity hopes that the set-up will help it to get a complete picture of each donor, allowing it to improve targeting and better understand what its supporters want.

"The change is about becoming supporter rather than product-driven," said Nicky Bishop, director of supporter-relationship management and former director of fundraising at WWF. "At the moment, like most charities, we have a set of products, legacy pledges or memberships, which we try to sell. The new approach will instead focus on the supporter and will try to match them with appropriate opportunities.

"Previously, different parts of the organisation might have each separately mailed a donor for different reasons. The new system will help avoid that kind of duplication and in doing so it will cut costs."

The structure means many fundraising staff have found that their roles have changed. However, Bishop says that the charity has remained "headcount neutral" despite the changes.

"The team have been fantastic and have happily applied for the new posts that have been created," she said. "Although the roles have changed, we still have one team that specialises in understanding supporters and another that looks after the products."

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