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Building relationships with donors

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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.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 6 hours
  • Updated Thursday 11th February 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Business Studies
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Building relationships with donors


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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 Business [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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