Donor Experience Project

In July last year you may recall that the Commission on the Donor Experience published its final reports. After many months of information gathering, meetings of minds, discussions and analysis we were pleased to provide a multitude of inspirational ideas to improve the donor experience. The reaction from the sector and beyond was overwhelmingly positive.

Over the last few months we have been putting in place a plan to take the work of the Commission forward. The Institute of Fundraising is now officially hosting the Donor Experience Project – the next evolution of the Commission’s work.

Our goal is to help fundraisers deliver a great experience so everyone feels good about giving. Our mission is to cultivate a culture in which charities consistently deliver exemplary experiences for their donors and other supporters.

Our Beliefs and Principles

  • We believe that donors support charities in order to achieve their personal missions
  • We believe that anyone who gets a great experience when supporting charity will, over their lifetime, engage significantly more than someone who doesn’t
  • We believe they will also have greater propensity to recommend the charity to family and friends, thereby creating stronger, more engaged networks of individuals and organisations 
  • We believe charities, and the relationships they have with their donors, will be stronger if a donor-based approach becomes their norm because their funding base will be more secure
  • We believe integrity and empathy are as important for fundraisers as financial targets
  • We believe charities should recognise and treat donors as their cause’s friends, not merely a route to more resources 
  • We believe donors generally recognise, value and respond when fundraisers demonstrate passionate belief in their cause
  • We believe that key influencers on great donor experiences should not just be restricted to donating and that activities such as campaigning, volunteering and advocating all play an important role 
  • We believe that measurement of donor experiences should focus on a range of factors, including financial return, over the long term


Our Strategic decision


Donor Experience Project Strategy diagram

We Need You!

Implementing a culture change across an entire sector will take years – but the willingness and energy to make the change happen is already here. And you are an essential part of the change. We need an army of people: people committed to helping change the culture of fundraising, inspiring and stimulating new ways of thinking and behaving.

In short, we need you. Join the Donor Experience Project today.

You may have some great ideas or experiences you want to share. You may want to write a blog or opinion piece. You may simply want to share content produced by the Donor Experience Project with your colleagues and networks.

The Commission, with your help, has taken the first step in changing the culture of fundraising.

Now it's up to you – please join the Donor Experience Project today.

Read Vice Chair of the Project, Giles Pegram's article: 'Treat donors well and they will give more' via the Guardian.


sublanding The 6 'P's
An introduction: the 6 ‘P’s that can transform fundraising for good
sublanding Key lessons from the Commission
A series of practical reports that focus on putting the donor at the heart of fundraising
sublanding Commission resources via SOFII
Access all of the Commission's Project Reports and Summaries on the SOFII website