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relational fundraising

At Pursuant, we not only work tirelessly to exceed our clients’ fundraising expectations, but we are also passionate about continuing to learn new strategies and pivot as technology and the world around us change. In light of our commitment to the future of fundraising, we are pleased to join together with donor management software company, Bloomerang, to fund a new research study led by Adrian Sargeant that will be conducted by Plymouth University’s Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy (CSP).

Pursuant Funds Relational Fundraising Research

The research project aims to review and refashion the concept of relationship fundraising, to incorporate new developments in relationship marketing and the latest theories on relationship building from the fields of psychology and social psychology.

Here are the six stages of the project that will be conducted by CSP:

  1. Canvass the views of senior practitioners on the definition, scope and current success of relationship fundraising techniques.
  1. Collate evidence of what is currently considered best practice and case studies of success.
  1. Conduct a thorough review of the academic and practitioner literature to identify theories, frameworks and ideas from the domain of relationship marketing that might be applied to fundraising.
  1. Conduct a similar review of the domain of ‘relationship management’ in psychology and social psychology to identify theories, frameworks and ideas that that might be used to inform fundraising practice.
  1. Based on the two literature reviews, assess the views of senior practitioners on the direction that relationship fundraising will take in the future and the challenges it must overcome.
  1. Compile a final report that summarizes the learning from steps 1-5 and outlines the future direction that relationship fundraising might take.

According to Professor Adrian Sargeant, director of the Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, now is a prime opportunity to study relationship fundraising.

“This promises to be a fascinating project as it will really be the first-time anyone has systematically reviewed the concept of relationship fundraising since Ken Burnett first mooted it more than 20 years ago. When Ken’s book, Relationship Fundraising, was first published in 1992, the science of relationship marketing had yet to really emerge and database technology was so poor that there were very real limitations on what could realistically be achieved,” said Sargeant.

Pursuant is proud to give back to the nonprofit industry and help finance this important work. We’re committed to investing in the knowledge making that will drive nonprofit work in the future.