Research on the Donor Experience released at Convention 2018

Research on the Donor Experience released at Convention 2018

4 July 2018

New research: how charities are improving the donor experience

One year on from the launch of the Commission on the Donor Experience’s outputs, the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has released a new report looking at the actions and plans fundraisers are putting in place to improve and review their donor experience.

The report, supported by, are based on feedback and findings from over 300 fundraisers across the UK who were surveyed on what they were doing to improve the donor experience following the publication of the projects from the Commission in July 2017. The report looks at who is responsible within charities for improving the donor experience, the specific actions that organisations had adopted, as well as snapshot case studies from three organisations, Action Aid, Meningitis Research Foundation and Innovista, about what they had done over the year to improve the experience of their supporters.

The findings indicate that change is beginning to take place across charities of all sizes, with 85% of small charities and 56% of larger charities stating that they go out of their way to meet the needs of their supporters. 74% of respondents also said that building great donor experiences with the aim of satisfying donors is the bedrock of their fundraising and communications. However it’s clear that the sector finds it challenging to balance short-term income targets against longer-term donor experience activities, and only 28% of respondents said they include information on their donor experience as a regular part of their reporting to the Board of Trustees.

The report ‘Improving the Donor Experience’ supported by was launched at IoF’s Fundraising Convention on Wednesday 4th July 2018.

Amanda Bringans, Chair of IoF said

Fundraisers are committed to understanding and improving the experience of their supporters so that we can continue to develop long-term relationships with our donors. I’m encouraged by the findings which show that fundraisers and charities are doing specific work on this area and look forward to the IoF continuing to promote and support our members as they strive to do continually improve the experience of our donors.

Chris Washington-Sare, chair of the Donor Experience Special Interest Group said

The Donor Experience Special Interest Group welcomes this report which shows some positive signs that change is happening. Recognising the importance of improving the donor experience is fundamental to future success in our sector and we are committed to helping charities and fundraisers embedding this as part of their everyday work. We know that cultural change takes time, and there is clearly more to do across all sizes and sectors of the charity sector, but we are starting to see steps in the right direction.

Rob Acker, CEO, said

Today, we see the Donor Experience Project evolving from a set of best practices into a conversation within the sector, and a movement in its own right. Change is already underway and can be attributed to the sector, its supporters and its industry partners. This report is the continuation of a journey for the sector, one that is proud to support.

Read the full report here.


For further information please contact or on 020 7840 5493.


Notes to editors:

The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. We support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. We have over 6,000 individual members and over 575 organisational members who raise more than £9 billion in income for good causes every year.

About was founded on the idea that the business of business is improving the state of the world. Founded on the 1-1-1 model, is now both a non-profit and a social enterprise that gives back to the community to invest in education to make sure youth are future ready.

Everyone who wants to change the world should have the tools and technology to do so. Technology is the most powerful equalizer of our time, providing access to data, knowledge, and--above all--connections. gets technology in the hands of nonprofits, education institutions and philanthropic organizations so they can connect with others and do more good. As a social enterprise, the more missions the technology supports, the more the company invests back into technology and communities, creating an endless circle of good.