The Centre’s reports explore cutting edge issues in fundraising and philanthropy.
Donor Retention
We generated this report for the Association of Fundraising Professionals a couple of years ago. It summarises what we know from academic and professional research about why people stop giving and what organisations might do about it. This may also be a helpful review because readers can obviously source the particular studies that speak to the issues their organisation is addressing.
Everything Research Can Tell Us About Legacy Giving in 2018
With legacy giving on the rise across the world, there is a significant opportunity for charitable organisations to engage their donors in a conversation about what they want to pass on to future generations. Yet so many say they lack the knowledge, tools and confidence to do that well.

So, Legacy Voice commissioned a major literature review (a world’s first actually), and asked some of the leading academics in fundraising to pull together everything that research can tell us about legacy giving.

The result is an in depth report, compiled from more than 150 papers across fundraising, marketing, sociology, psychology and behavioural economics.

Please note: this particular report can be downloaded directly from Legacy Voice’s website

Great Fundraising

Our outstanding fundraising project looks at how and under what circumstances, organisations develop exceptional fundraising. We explore the practices of successful leaders, concluding that what makes leaders exceptional is their ability to think differently from their peers. We explore the thinking processes of some of the sector’s most innovative and successful fundraisers and provide a series of case studies of cutting edge professional practice.

Great Fundraising Events
Our fundraising events project investigates what it is that ultimately makes an event successful, and how nonprofits running events can provide new and exciting forms of value for participants. The report examines the major themes that emerged from both researcher analysis and international interviewee contributions.
Growing Philanthropy UK Summit
Forty years of increasingly sophisticated fundraising practice, the development of regular (monthly) giving, the appearance of the internet and the rise of new digital channels have seemingly done little to increase our generosity. In this paper we address this issue, drawing on the discussions that took place at the UK’s first Growing Philanthropy Summit, held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London on 6 July 2011.
Growing Philanthropy US Summit
Forty years of increasingly sophisticated fundraising practice, the development of planned giving vehicles, the appearance of the internet and the rise of new digital channels have done nothing to move the needle on giving. The intention of this paper is to address this issue, drawing on the available research and the discussions that took place at the nation’s first Growing Philanthropy Summit, held in Washington, D.C. on 9 June 2011.
How Boards Can Help Create Sustainable Growth in Schools and H.E. Institutions
This research explains why fundraisers and board members need to work together and how, both for the organisations outcomes’ and their own fundamental human needs, in order to drive sustainable fundraising growth. Looking specifically at schools and universities, the research suggests how fundraising strategy can transform the way a mission is accomplished and build a fundraising system for substantive growth.
Insights into the Future of Philanthropic Innovation: Philanthropic Literacy for Future Leaders
This study provides insight into the future of philanthropic innovation and how it might best be managed. Using a mixed method approach including an extensive literature review and interviews with sector leaders, we distilled the collective thinking into a new theoretical construct, “philanthropic literacy”, which has the potential to make the future a much better place.
Learning to Say Thank You: The Role of Donor Acknowledgements

How should we be thanking supporters? Should we thank donors for their gift, for the difference they have made or for being the kind of person they are or would like to be?

And should a thank-you be designed differently for donors at different stages in their relationship?

Do certain types of thank-you allow donors to experience higher levels of well being and what does this mean for subsequent behaviour?

Our latest report has the answers.

Major Gift Fundraising: Unlocking the Potential for Smaller Nonprofits
Major gift philanthropy plays a significant role in the nonprofit sector around the world. To date, relatively little academic interest has focused on how major gifts are solicited and the critical factors that should be managed in order to achieve superior performance.

In this report we draw together strands of literature to identify what critical success factors might be in the context of major gift fundraising and in particular, what they might be in smaller organisations reporting an income of $10 million or less.

Measuring donor loyalty: key reasons why Net Promoter Score (NPS) is not the way
This paper reviewed the weaknesses of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of donor loyalty
for fundraisers working in nonprofit organizations, argued that the measure is fundamentally
flawed and inappropriate for use in this context, and outlined six major critiques of the NPS
approach and offered an alternative way of measuring future loyalty and value.
Risk and Philanthropy
This report examines how various development actors might encourage philanthropists to take and accept more risk in their philanthropy. Our Rockefeller Foundation and Resource Alliance funded report analyses the results of a series of interviews with some of the world’s leading development philanthropists, development agencies and intermediary organisations.
The Science of Legacy Fundraising
We have been working with Listen to test how the latest academic thinking can be applied to telephone legacy fundraising. In this report, we explore what psychological factors drive legacy decisions. We then go on to investigate how best to apply this understanding during telephone conversations, and to identify the most meaningful and positive ways to support legacy decision-making.
What price Fundraising Regulation?
Adrian Sargeant’s opinion piece on the new Fundraising Regulator, April 2017