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Legacy fundraising and big-gift seeking are part of the professional fundraiser's role. This free course, Building relationships with donors, 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 course, you should be able to:
- appraise the skills used in asking for contributions
- identify ways of sustaining and developing donor involvement
- make recommendations on how an organisation might most appropriately acknowledge contributions
- contribute to thinking on the actual or potential role of ‘big gifts’ in an organisation's approach to fundraising
- enhance the 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 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
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 course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in
This free course includes adapted extracts 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, 11th February 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 11th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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