The Donor Experience Project

THE BACKSTORY

Donor Experience: The combination of the interactions that a donor or potential donor has with the organisation and/or cause to which they donate, have donated or are considering donating.

Some of us believe the alumni donor experience begins when they apply to attend university. Others believe it starts at graduation. Whenever the starting point, we know that a donor develops a relationship with a university through their experiences over time.

We also know that the key to fundraising success is to design and deliver experiences that inspire more people to give, and to want to keep giving.

UK university philanthropic giving has reached record levels, surpassing £1 billion-a-year for the first time in 2017.

Universities are wonderful places for donors to express who they are and make an impact on the causes they care about.

But our sector will not rest on its laurels. Our Ross-CASE barometer shows how our future success is being put at risk by stagnating alumni donor numbers. New alumni donors are giving to universities at the same rate as their fellow alumni are ending their giving.

Could advancing the donor experience be the key to keeping our donors and launching our next phase of sector growth?

In 2018, our team of volunteers and enthusiastic partners researched how development professionals like us think about the donor experience, how we measure it and what might be holding us back from improving it.

We’ve set out a vision for how higher education fundraising can take charge of the donor experience and reach previously unimagined levels of performance.

Be part of the movement for change – read our research report or explore the full results of the survey.

Be part of the movement for change – read our research report or explore the full results of the survey.

Where are we today:

Our research is all about understanding:

Information

Where we seek information about the donor experience

Evaluation

How we assess the quality of the donor experiences we offer

Action

How we make decisions that impact on the donor experience

Reflection

What holds us back from delivering outstanding donor care

Our Objective

With a solid understanding of our people, structures and culture, we will make practical recommendations to improve donor care for the benefit of our sector.
Holly Palmer
Holly Palmer Consulting

Shape the vision for how higher education fundraising could change for the better over the next decade

The results are out now!

Find out what the barriers are to delivering outstanding donor experiences and how you can overcome them.

Research Advisory Board

Our volunteer Research Advisory Board members represent the UK higher education fundraising industry and are guiding the study’s research questions, communications and recommendations. They are charged with challenging assumptions, keeping an open mind to results and bringing the perspective of practitioners to the project.

Holly Palmer Consulting - Advisory Board Higher Education Donor Experience2

Project Partners

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holly palmer consulting - higher education industry research project on the donor experience
fowlam and holly palmer consulting - higher education industry research project on the donor experience

Newsletter Signup

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Donor Experience project. We will only email you when we have something timely and relevant to say.

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What’s next

Read and share the report within your networks. Start the discussion in your team today.