‘Major Donor Giving in Northern Ireland’ was developed in response to a range of research which showed that major donor giving was not as advanced in Northern Ireland as in other countries.
‘Blockers’ identified to growing philanthropic income locally include the view that there are not enough wealthy people giving to charity, or many who do give do not do so in a strategic way and, while many charities in Northern Ireland have a strong community fundraising, base they neglect or ignore the potential of major donors.
This toolkit outlines the generally accepted principles and main elements of major donor fundraising and then reflects the experience of this project which worked with charities who wanted to take part in a major donor campaign.
Some of the experience of the project showed that:
• Donor motivation in Northern Ireland was similar to other countries but religious giving was more prominent
• Local donors placed great importance on the strength of the case for support and were generally positive about partnership funding
• It can be more difficult to locate major donors locally because of a legacy of secrecy and a reluctance to tell others about philanthropic giving
• Major donor campaigns can make progress outside the convention of forming development boards
• A successful ask can happen more quickly in Northern Ireland than standard practice
• Donor stewardship can be neglected or regarded as an afterthought in local campaigns
The project concludes that local charities can be more successful if they undertake major donor campaigns using standard practice along while taking note of some local differences.
The 20-page report can be downloaded from CFNI’s website.
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