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Why The Children’s Society is moving from product-led to supporter-led fundraising

Why The Children’s Society is moving from product-led to supporter-led fundraising

The Children’s Society has adopted a new strategy that will transform the way it approaches fundraising by rethinking its whole approach to involving supporters. The charity is working to move from a product-led fundraising model to a supporter-led engagement model. 

The new approach is part of a new strategy at the charity that has the aim of “disrupting the cycles of disadvantage faced by vulnerable young people”.

Director of Supporter Impact & Income Generation Joe Jenkins told UK Fundraising how he and his colleagues “believe that this new approach requires us to transform everything we do – introducing new processes, systems, metrics, structures and fundamentally, a new mindset and culture”.

He added: “We will focus on the total contribution that our supporters and partners can make to our cause – prioritising lifetime value over short-term transactional targets. And crucially, we intend to ensure that every interaction with our supporters delivers a positive experience.”

This approach comes just a week after Jenkins spoke on similar terms at the launch of the Commission on the Donor Experience at the Fundraising Convention 2017 in London. 

He vlogged about the new approach at The Children’s Society for UK Fundraising, explaining “Our goal is to build a dynamic growing movement of people collectively transforming the lives of young people through their action”. 

Supporter Impact & Income team

What does the new approach involve in practice, beyond the (currently) unusual team name of ‘Supporter Impact & Income’? Jenkins explained, and demonstrated the consultative and collaborative approach through his video announcement, introducing colleagues and their roles in this new team.

He said: “As part of this transformation, we have been reviewing our team structure, considering all the various teams involved in supporter engagement (across fundraising, campaigning, volunteering). 

“This week we launch a new team, designed around our supporters.  We are called “Supporter Impact & Income” – a team focused on building positive relationships that maximise the impact our supporters and partners are able to achieve for children and young people.  We’ve taken some ideas from the principles informing commercial approaches to customer experience, coupled with our own values and strategic approach, and the key measure of success will be the lifetime value of our supporters. 

“I introduce this new team in the vlog.  The structure has been deliberately designed to ensure that each individual team is dependent on every other team to achieve their goals – only through a joined up approach internally will we be able to offer our supporters a positive experience.  We believe that this relational supporter engagement approach will enable our supporters to grow closer to our cause, achieve more impact – and we will have a real chance of breaking the cycles of disadvantage faced by children.”


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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