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Holding Donor Summits to Build a Philanthropic Culture

Resource Center - Foundation

How “donor-centred” is your organization in both approach and activities? In the most recent issue of KCI’s Philanthropic Trends Quarterly, it is suggested that holding regular “Donor Summits” may be the answer to creating a donor-centred culture that is both explicit and intentional.

The idea is to involve all functions of the organization (development, communications and operations) with the goal of exploring a donor’s experience and engagement with your organization. The outcome of the summit should address three things:

  1. Alignment of staff in answering the question of “what do we want our donor experience to be?”
  2. Using the answer to question one, articulate the activities and touch points that will animate the donor’s experience.
  3. Explore the possibility of creating an ongoing “Donor Council” to serve as the group that initiates and monitors the findings of the Donor Summit to ensure that donors and their experience stays top of mind.

There’s an added benefit to holding a summit and forming a Donor Council. They can be helpful in breaking down organizational silos that tend to naturally occur in most organizations.

Read the full publication at Philanthropic Trends Quarterly.

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