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A simple guide to relationship fundraising

Wondering what on earth relationship fundraising can do for your charity?


Let’s break it down together…


Relationship fundraising is an approach to the marketing of a cause which centres not around raising money but on developing to its full potential the unique and special relationship between a charity and its supporter.”

–Burnett 1992


This means we need to reframe our concept of a donor – instead of focusing our efforts on what we can get from our donors, start thinking about what we can offer them. A strange concept, we know!


This follows the utility maximisation theory where individuals will seek to spend where they will get the highest satisfaction.


Here’s a few tips on how you can apply this to your charity….


  • Invest in customer satisfaction

Make your donor journey as simple as possible. Fewer clicks to payment pages, offer several payment options and remove distractions from the process. Overall ease, will elevate the customer experience and increase donor satisfaction.


  • Build trust with donors

Transparency is no secret weapon. While annual reports and distribution data is available on charity sites, not all donors will check it out. Make the information you’ve gathered into bitesize infographics and charts so it’s easily accessible and digestible to your donors. It’s an easy way to build trust.


  • Demonstrate individual impact

If your charity can demonstrate how a donor’s contribution has made a specific impact, then make sure you highlight this. Whether this is based on an individual beneficiary story or a specific donation goal, make it known to your donors exactly how they made a personal difference.


These are just a few of many ways you can adjust your marketing and fundraising approach to be more relationship oriented. In doing so, your charity can reap the benefits of donors creating high barriers to switching charities, decreased price sensitivity for productised donations, and of course enhancing social bonds and donor loyalty.


It’s everything your charity craves.


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