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New directions for relationship fundraising

One of the objectives of our review was to ‘refashion’ relationship fundraising – to imagine different ways to conceive of relationship fundraising. So we are setting up this project to imagine different futures for relationship fundraising, and indeed, to question whether the idea of ‘relationship fundraising’ is actually obsolete and has been surpassed by more sophisticated concepts. The project will be led by the recognised relationship fundraising expert Craig Linton, co-author of the book Donors For Life – A Practitioner's Guide To Relationship Fundraising.

Following Rogare’s interdisciplinary approach, we will look particularly to marketing and public relations for concepts and ideas on relationship management that can be adapted to fundraising and relationships with donors. These could include, and this is a far from exhaustive list of ideas:

  • Total relationship marketing » total relationship fundraising

  • Customer experience » donor experience

  • The theory of managing Organisation-Public Relationships (OPRs) from public relations

  • Customer brand engagement » donor brand engagement

  • Virtual relationships and those managed by artificial intelligence

  • A postmodernist approach to donor-centred fundraising and storytelling

  • Ideas about commitment in polyamorous relationships and whether these can help us conceptualise commitment in charitable give.

  • Relationships with non-human subjects.

Help us explore new directions for relationship fundraising

We will be looking for fundraising practitioners and pracademics with a particular interest in these issues to help us build and deliver this project. This will be more than simply writing an opinion piece about your preferred new take on relationship fundraising. This will be about mining existing ideas and constructing sound evidence- and theory-based new approaches for relationship fundraising.

So it will suit someone with an academic background for sure, though that’s not essential. More important is that you’ve got new ideas and are prepared to put in the work to research and evidence them – and be prepared to adapt and revise them (or throw them out) if the evidence and theory doesn’t support your ideas.

Anyone interested in helping us to deliver this project should contact the project leader Craig Linton, via email or direct message on LinkedIn.

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Project leader

Fundraising Detective

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Further reading

You can check out these articles on the Critical Fundraising Blog, all of which explore refashioned new directions for relationships fundraising:

  • Relationship fundraising – so where should we go next?
    by Craig Linton

  • Refashioning relationship fundraising – it's about more than just donors
    by Ian MacQuillin

  • A balancing act – applying ‘total’ relationship fundraising to all donor relationships
    by Ian MacQuillin.

  • How anthropology can give us new insights into donorcentred fundraising
    by Ashley Scott.

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