Building the connection to more regular donors

by | Clients, Fundraising tips and essentials

There may be a number of reasons why someone chooses to give a one-time gift to charity:

  • a compelling fundraising campaign
  • a charismatic fundraiser
  • the time of year (Christmas or EOFY)
  • a sponsorship request from a friend

But a decision to give regularly, over a longer period – say two years or more – relies on something deeper: relationship.

As we’ll see in this post, cultivating this relationship requires a specific set of values and a healthy understanding of The Ben Don Chain.


The challenge of building a relationship between a donor and a beneficiary

The Ben Don Chain illustrated below highlights the key relationships that connect a donor (‘Don’) to the ultimate beneficiary of their support (‘Ben’).



The challenge of the Ben Don Chain is evident: that the relationship between the donor and the beneficiary relies on several other important relationships.

We can’t ignore the relationship between Cornucopia (or any other fundraising agency) and the charity client. Or the relationship that the specific fundraiser has with the donor they sign up.

Each of these relationships is important in encouraging a long-term giving relationship between the donor and the beneficiary.

The opportunity of the Ben Don Chain

What we’ve learned is that a strong Ben Don Chain (and a strong link at every stage) is a self-sustaining system.

When each relationship has a win-win outcome, we see that on average, donors are more likely to become regular donors for the long-term.

It starts with the fundraiser – either in person, on the phone, or even via social media.

The fundraiser must approach the potential donor with openness, kindness, and friendliness, not seeing them as a target to hit or a potential source of income (crucially)!

A good donor to fundraiser relationship breeds a good relationship between the donor and the agency, and therefore the donor and the charity.

A good agency to charity relationship also helps with donor communications, opening more space for donors to feel connected, in turn, with the beneficiaries.

That’s just one example of the Ben Don Chain in action. The specific dynamics can change from charity to charity, donor to donor, and agency to agency!

At Cornucopia, cultivating relationships at every stage of the Ben Don Chain is something that guides our decision making, and it leads to great results.

In particular, we’ve seen industry-leading 12-month face to face retention rates… and it all comes down to a values system that prioritises relationships along the chain.

What to know more about how the Ben-Don chain can help your organisation acquire more regular givers? Contact us today.

Want to join Cornucopia and play a critical role in the Ben-Don chain as a change-making fundraiser? Find out more about current opportunities.