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Building relationships with donors
Legacy fundraising, big-gift seeking are all part of the professional fundraiser's role...
Legacy fundraising, big-gift seeking are all part of the professional fundraiser's role. This unit will help you to gain the skills necessary to persuade individuals to become donors. How do you change people's ideas about methods of giving, moving them from casual street donations to regular direct debit giving?
After studying this unit you should:
- appraise your own skills in asking for contributions;
- identify ways of sustaining and developing donor involvement;
- make recommendations on how your organisation might most appropriately acknowledge contributions;
- contribute to thinking on the actual or potential role of ‘big gifts’ in your organisation's approach to fundraising;
- enhance your approach to legacy fundraising.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Donor motivation
- 2 Asking someone for something: the core skill
- 3 Asking lots of people for something: key issues and choices
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Knowing who to approach
- 3.3 Deciding what to ask for
- 3.4 Communicating your request
- 3.5 Building the relationship: developing your donors
- 3.6 Extending and sustaining involvement
- 3.6.1 Saying thank you and acknowledging current contribution
- 3.6.2 Listening and responding to what donors and supporters say
- 3.6.3 Balancing emotional commitment with awareness and understanding
- 3.6.4 Taking account of ‘external’ perceptions
- 3.6.5 Using ‘involvement devices’ sensitively and appropriately
- 4 Seeking big gifts
- 5 Legacy fundraising
- 6 Summary
- Next steps
- Module team
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Building relationships with donors
The starting point for this session is the very simple proposition that the vast majority of people become donors only when they are asked. You have to turn people into donors by providing them with suitable opportunities to contribute. It is your request and your approach that lay the foundations for each individual donor relationship; it is your subsequent actions that will sustain – or otherwise – the nature and amount of any further donations and support from that donor.
So our aim in this unit is to provide you with an overview: of approaches you can adopt and issues you are likely to face in providing the right sorts of opportunities for people to become donors and contributors to your organisation.
You will look at what is involved in asking for donations on an individual face-to-face basis and also look at the process of asking numbers of people for support, and at how to extend the involvement of your donors and supporters once you have established contact. You will also look more closely at how to tackle the business of securing major individual contributions. We finish with a brief overview of legacy fundraising – the culmination for many donors of a lifetime's generosity.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Winning resources and support, (B625) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Business Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Business Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 4th July 2013
Last updated on: Thursday, 4th July 2013
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