Individual Giving: Supporter experience, donor acquisition, understanding donors and more

: Roger Lawson

Individual giving has seen many changes over the last few years, but this year's track is full of insights into how to navigate them, says Roger Lawson – one of the board members who designed the Individual Giving track.

Individual giving has seen more change in the last few years than, perhaps, any other form of fundraising. Externally our methods have been scrutinised by the media, politicians and donors. We’ve seen new legislation. And we’ve seen some of the techniques we’ve relied on disappear.

But we’ve responded. We’ve seen a significant shift towards looking after our donors better, a growing focus on retention, on mid-level giving and legacies and new ‘supporter experience’ roles becoming more and more common. We’re having to find new ways to acquire new donors. And we’re using new insights about what drives donor satisfaction and behaviours to improve the effectiveness of our strategies.

 We have pulled together some of the best speakers in these areas to share their experience and knowledge in the Individual Giving track at Convention this year.

 Supporter experience

The concept of ‘supporter experience’ can mean different things to different people. The key thing is that it has to right for your charity and for your donors.

I’m really looking forward to hearing how British Red Cross and Save the Children are tackling it, working to improve the supporter experience in two of our biggest charities, with very well-established (and successful) fundraising programmes.

And I’m equally looking forward to hearing from Robin Peake who created the donor programme at Innovista, winners of the Institute of Fundraising’s first ever award for Best Donor Experience. He proves that you can deliver amazing experiences with huge commitment and tiny budgets.

Donor acquisition

Perhaps donor acquisition is the area that has changed the fastest over the last few years – it’s surely never been so difficult (and expensive) to find new donors. We have pulled together a panel of experts from charities and suppliers who will be looking at the latest developments in donor acquisition across the sector and sharing their predictions and recommendations.

We’ll also be looking in more detail at DRTV and face to face – two channels that continue to be the main drivers of many charities acquisition programmes. By the end of these sessions, I’m confident you’ll have a clearer view of what’s right for you.

Understanding donors

Our knowledge of donors, and what drives their behaviours, is growing almost every day. Bernard Ross literally wrote the book on using behavioural economics to improve fundraising and will be sharing his insights and experience with us.

And I’m delighted to be sharing the stage with the British Red Cross and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to talk about how they are measuring and growing their donors’ satisfaction and the impact this has on donation behaviour.

No-one said it would be easy, but I believe it’s an exciting time to be a part of these changes. And I’m delighted that we’ve been able to incorporate so much of this into the Individual Giving programme at the Fundraising Convention this year.

See you there!

Roger Lawson is a Consultant and sits on the board for the Fundraising Convention. 

View the full Fundraising Convention programme here.

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