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Case Study: JDRF boost their major donor fundraising


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research, has a strong base of supporters, many of whom are motivated by their direct affinity with the cause.

They also have a major donor fundraising programme, sustained by some highly motivated volunteers. The volunteers are often involved in networking at events, but some found the idea of ‘making the ask’ a little daunting, and weren’t sure of how they should handle the conversation. The Major Donor team also wanted the chance to reflect on their work and get a little expert advice.

=mc Senior Partner Consultant Angela Cluff was asked to provide some training for the volunteers and regional staff at JDRF. She designed a session that would give participants an overview of major donor fundraising, and build their confidence when it came to ‘making the ask’. The session included =mc’s version of a seven-step model of solicitation, and practical techniques to use when actually asking for money.

This training has boosted the confidence of the volunteers by de-mystifying the process of ‘making the ask’, and giving them some practical tools to use. It has also equipped regional staff with the skills that they need to start moving into major donor work.

Angela also ran a clinic with the major gifts team, giving them the opportunity to go through individual case-studies of particular donors in detail. The major donor team were able to raise questions and get Angela’s expert opinion and advice about specific major donor situations. It also provided a great environment for them to step back from the work they’d done in the past, and plan for the future.

The major donor team found Angela’s clinic really useful. Helen Pegg, Head of Trusts and Major Gifts at JDRF said

“It was great to get a fresh pair of eyes on our major donor cases, and talk through them with an expert. Our work with =mc has really re-invigorated our major donor work.”

JDRF is a registered charity, numbers 295716 (England and Wales) and SC040123 (Scotland).

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