What stage is your organisation at in the donor centric journey?

What stage is your organisation at in the donor centric journey?

In a survey to our Donor Centricity Collective (DCC) community, results showed that a common challenge amongst Fundraising Managers is ‘knowing your data’.

In our quest to help solve this common problem, we’ve taken our learnings from the commercial world and created an 8 step journey roadmap to the Donor Centric environment.

We encourage you to challenge your thinking by rating your organisation at each stage of the donor centricity road map (on a scale of 1 – 10).

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The importance of leadership in the fundraising sector

The importance of leadership in the fundraising sector

Reset, Reimagine, Re-equip for 2021

We’ll say it…Fundraising is hard! The world of fundraising is fundamentally shifting all the time; with old communications meeting new communications. And its a no brainer, COVID-19 has accelerated the impacts of a lot of underlying pieces of technology and environmental factors. The way in which we decide, buy, work, connect and live, have all altered – creating a different need for the human aspect, human element and human leadership.

Ashton Bishop, the founder of Step Change, knows how busy Fundraising Managers are. Which is why he’s taken his 3-day leadership course and condensed it into a 6-hour digital learning module, in a fun and interactive style of learning. And wait for it…you also have 3 months to complete the course at your own pace!

In challenging times we all need a set of tools to lean on and tap into. So why not challenge yourself and lead your cause into 2021, with a clear mindset and vision. Create your own sustainable change, challenge yourself, acknowledge your weaknesses, and build a better you!

Step Change have extended their BLACK FRIDAY pricing for our LemonTree community, offering 20% OFF their $299 leadership course ‘Leaders Mindset’.

Our unique discount code – LEMONTREE
(Offer ends EOD 18 December 2020)

Barriers to Donor-Centricity: the Challenges you Face

Barriers to Donor-Centricity: the Challenges you Face

After defining donor-centricity and explaining why we believe it should be a strategic priority for NFPs, it’s worth us exploring some of the challenges you may face on your journey towards donor-centricity.

Commercial entities recognise that sustained competitive advantage comes from having a customer-centric approach across all levels and teams within their organisation. Only when the customer permeates the hearts and minds of the entire organisation – regardless of seniority, department or title – will the company start to reap the rewards of trust and loyalty from their customers.

The same is true for NFPs. Donor-centricity needs to permeate the DNA of your charity in order to be truly effective.

And therein lies perhaps the biggest barrier to donor-centricity: your organisation itself.

Its ethos, culture and leadership.

Its vision, strategy and core values.

Its programs, targets and KPIs.

Its operating model, revenue streams and decision-making processes.

Its hiring policies, onboarding and development opportunities.

These elements all need to be conducive to first understanding your donors at each stage of their life; and then infusing these insights into all areas of your business to help inform decisions, shape strategies, determine priorities, set goals, build your brand, establish a connection and ultimately create a unique and ongoing value exchange for your donors that leads to trust and loyalty.

All of which, of course, rely heavily on the technology your organisation uses; the quality of your donor data and even the very language you use to communicate with your donors. These too present additional potential barriers to donor-centricity.

Then there are the external factors to consider. The ratio of NFPs to active donors, resulting in everyone ‘fishing from the same pond’. The subsequent over-targeting and communication overload that leads to paralysis of choice, desensitisation or message fatigue. All this even before a global pandemic is thrown in the mix, threatening our way of life as well as life itself.

Yes, the path to donor-centricity is undoubtedly full of obstacles and challenges: internal and external, known and unknown.

But they are not insurmountable.

Because your organisation has a secret weapon.


A champion, not only for the cause your organisation represents but for the donors who so generously give their money in support of its beneficiaries.

A voice, always asking “what will this mean for our donors?”

A rally cry, encouraging everyone in the organisation to put the donor first, always.

No matter what hurdles NFPs face on their journey to donor-centricity, their success will be that much greater – the outcomes that much more meaningful – if they have someone like you in their corner.

So don’t be afraid to be that constant presence, that constant reminder that sustainable giving stems from sustainable relationships built over time and based on trust and loyalty. And that begins with a donor-centric approach throughout your entire organisation.

If that sounds daunting, don’t worry – we’re here to support you. In fact, there’s a whole community of people here to support you…and we’d love for you to join us at LemonTree’s free Donor-Centricity Collective (DCC). As a member of the DCC, you can learn from your peers, share your experiences, ask questions and keep up-to-date with the latest strategies to become more donor-centric…AND be part of a movement to help grow sustainable giving in Australia! Simply click here to sign up for free.


Next up in this series:

  • How to become more donor-centric
  • The different stages of the donor relationship and how they impact donor-centricity


Protecting your donors and your sustainability, our conversation with FIA

Protecting your donors and your sustainability, our conversation with FIA

Many of us work in this sector to make a positive impact on society. But has the nature of fundraising in today’s digital world led to a proliferation of communication and around privacy concerns that sometimes challenge our core beliefs?

Have the negative experiences of our overseas counterparts; the rise of “leaking donor bucket” syndrome; – and the declining ability to acquire donors via traditional channels got you wondering where things have gone awry; what can we learn; and what can we do differently?

On our mission to create more sustainable giving practices in Australia, these questions and concerns are certainly at the forefront of our minds here at LemonTree Fundraising.

That’s why we recently sat down with the FIA’s Head of Code and Regulatory Affairs, Scott McClellan, to discuss best practice donor protection and others trends across the industry. Some really interesting market research was discussed and some powerful areas of focus resulted from our conversation. 

Handling Donor Preferences

Earlier this year FIA’s Code Authority commissioned mystery shopping of 30 FIA organisational members to assess their compliance with the Code. Donations were made in April via telephone and website.

To date no breaches of the Code have been recorded. Nevertheless, the monitoring found that most charities that received the unsolicited donation by telephone did not take the opportunity to ask the donor about their preferred method for receiving future communication.

By contrast, a clear majority of charities contacted via their website did enable the donor to choose their preferred method of future contact.

Similarly, receipts sent to donors generally had no option for the donor to alter their communication preferences. While there is no requirement to provide a communications preference choice to current donors, it is considered best practice to regularly offer it in the context of donor care.

Scott also mentioned “a current focus of Code monitoring is the treatment of donors who may be in vulnerable circumstances. This is a tricky area, demanding compassion and good judgement from fundraisers. The Code itself requires fundraisers, when they identify such a person, not to accept a donation.”

FIA has published a practice note to help members identify donors who may lack capacity to make a decision to donate due to their vulnerability.

Communication Compliance

Other topics discussed with Scott, included the changes we are seeing in the awareness of and preparation for the governments Digital Platforms Enquiry, Consumer Data Rights and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As these privacy-driven controls begin to tighten, both the FIA and LemonTree Fundraising have observed mixed views across fundraising on high vs. low frequency of communications and which is in the best interests of the donor.

Interestingly, in what appears to contrast the increasing privacy-driven compliance measures, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has declared overall communication complaint levels from Australian consumers are in decline. However this could be due to the mass reduction in telemarketing of the financial sector, as opposed to changes in fundraising telemarketing practices.

What did we conclude?

Protecting vulnerable people is getting better and easier with the ability to apply ‘vulnerable propensity’ scoring across your donor base and equip your donor support team with a flag on your CRM for the next time they communicate with a potentially vulnerable donor.

When it comes to the frequency with which you communicate with your donors, one size does not fit all. It’s no longer enough to be compliant with government and industry regulations; you need to be compliant with your donors. Begin capturing communication preferences on your donors as part of your opt-out process. Often they are more frustrated, rather wanting to stop giving completely.  Check out our LemonTree Fundraising preference/opt-out capture page as an example.

Finally, conversations increase learning which leads to change. We each play a part in the future of the fundraising industry; it’s important that we continue to share our experiences and learnings so together we can create more sustainable giving practices in Australia. We look forward to continuing our conversations with Scott and the FIA and encourage each of you to tap into your passion for social good and contribute to the discussion. Comment below or reach out to Scott at smcclellan@fia.org.au or myself joel.nicholson@lemontree.com.au directly.