Identifying your donor base 

Every charity has a natural constituency of donors that are most likely to be interested in their cause. To identify your supporters, ask yourself the following questions:

  • who has given to us previously, what is their age, gender, location, profession?
  • what were their motivations to give to us in the past?
  • who uses our services or supports our work by volunteering or working in partnership with us? Could they become a donor?
  • which corporates and trusts are interested in the type of work that we do?
  • which groups of people do we want to support us? Are they of a particular age, gender, income or profession?
  • What relationships and networks do we currently have - particularly at board level?

Once you know what your typical and ideal donor look like, you can think about where you might be able to connect with these people or organisations.


Be it a fundraising appeal, website content, social media posts, trust application or conversation with a major donor, your case for support will form the basis for all your communications.

This should be based on your vision, mission and values. 

It should set out what you want to do, the impact you will achieve, and most importantly, why donors should give to your cause. 

Here are a few things to consider when building your case for support:

  • what you do and why
  • who you benefit and why they need you
  • what would happen if you were unable to reach them
  • how much money you need
  • the impact you will achieve


  • include information about the needs of your beneficiaries and donors
  • focus on the strengths of your organisation and your ability to deliver
  • paint a picture using case studies, anecdotes, data and success stories


  • include concerns such as gaps in provision, skills or budget
  • use technical language or internal jargon
  • forget to evidence your ideas with data


Demonstrating the impact of your work helps donors understand what can be achieved when they make a gift and help to encourage regular giving.

When explaining what you do, be sure to include  a mix of the emotive and the rational such as:

  • stories about the people your organisation helps, both before and after
  • stories from your team on the front line, who can share the emotion and achievements from their work
  • testimonials from service users, staff and partners
  • data presented in interesting and engaging ways, that clearly highlight key results, such as the number of lives saved or changed
  • maps that show the breadth of your work
  • photos - one strong image can be a powerful way to highlight your impact

The Fundraising Cycle

All of the information on this webpage is important when it comes to acquiring donors, nurturing those relationships and then maintaining donor loyalty. 

We've put this together in five easy points in our fundraising cycle infographic.
the fundraising cycle infographic
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