High Value Fundraising

This Big Thinkers session aimed to discuss the challenges in high value fundraising (defined as Corporate, Trusts & Foundations and Major Gift fundraising). Big Thinkers from 11 organisations contributed to an open and productive discussion.

Most Big Thinkers said they aim to significantly grow high value income over the next three to five years. Their discussion focused on five key challenges and barriers:

  • Strategic targeting of prospects: This specifically related to corporate fundraising, which is seen as reactive and driven largely by a focus on short-term income. Many corporate fundraising teams miss the opportunity to strategically target specific corporate prospects where there is alignment with products, services or brand.
  • Getting the cultivation right: Cultivation strategies are not always in place and where they are, they may not be appropriate. It is important to address the challenges of cultivation across all high value fundraising streams.
  • Measuring and reporting on impact: As donor demands for impact reporting increase, charities are finding it challenging to measure the required level of impact. This is often due to issues such as beneficiary confidentiality, challenges with long-term tracking, or securing organisational buy-in to monitoring systems.
  • Attracting, developing and retaining talent: It is not only difficult to attract and develop talent, but also to retain high performers.
  • Case for Support and brand awareness: Lack of brand awareness and/or a compelling Case for Support is consistently cited as a challenge in high value fundraising. Those charities with lower brand awareness need to focus on their Case for Support and story-telling.
  • Compiling Big Thinkers’ experiences, they came up with advice for peers addressing these challenges and barriers to help grow their high value fundraising programmes.

    This is only a short summary of the full discussion. If you would like to know more about this Big Thinkers discussion, or our other Big Thinkers events, please contact us.