Charity Futures 2: Healthcare charity supporter experience
  • February 12, 2018

Charity Futures 2: Healthcare charity supporter experience

Charity Futures 2 is a collaborative research project exploring the experiences and perceptions of supporters and the general public. It will help charities to build, develop and sustain meaningful relationships. Join the collaborative research study.

It is an important part of excellent fundraising and improving donors’ experience for charities to understand their supporters and engage them in the causes they care about in the most appropriate ways...Peter Lewis Chief Executive, Institute of Fundraising

Key dates:

Applications open:          26th February 2018.  – to apply e-mail

Applications close:          EXTENDED TO 20th APRIL 2018.

Project starts:                    April 2018

What’s your charity’s supporter experience really like? - Join Charity Futures 2 to explore healthcare charity supporter experience.

Charity Futures 2 is a collaborative research project exploring the experiences and perceptions of supporters and the general public.  We are seeking a maximum of 15 Healthcare charities who are looking to build, develop and sustain meaningful relationships with their supporters. 

Charity Futures 2 outcomes:

With the evidence generated by Charity Futures 2, partners will be empowered to:

Generate and refine a clear fundraising proposition and set of key messages to better attract and connect with supporters.

Develop strategies to retain supporters based on a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your supporter experience.

Produce independent evidence for your board to meet its fundraising governance responsibilities and provide members with peace of mind.

Provide early warning of potentially poor charity supporter experiences for you to act upon.


Media stories of individuals’ poor experiences of charity fundraising, have left trust in charities at an all-time low.

The new Fundraising Regulator and Preference Service, and GDPR legislation mean increased scrutiny and regulation. But managing the charity supporter experience needn’t be a legislative headache – we believe it can be a meaningful opportunity:

Make new meaningful connections

It is hard to win and sustain the hearts and minds of supporters, and to keep driving revenue and trust. Understanding what motivates people to become health care charity supporters, and what puts them off, is vital.

What’s it like to be one of your supporters?

Key to future growth is building strong relationships with supporters. An independent, detailed assessment of what it’s like to be a supporter will enable you to act to improve the charity supporter experience.

Take a holistic view of your supporters

Charities that thrive will be those that truly understand and respond to the motivations, perceptions and experiences of supporters and their multiple roles of donor, volunteer, fundraiser, campaigner and advocate.

Project scope:

Participating charities will help define the scope of the project at the kick-off workshop, but we anticipate the project will explore:

    Sector/national perceptions   Your supporter’s experiences
Causes   What connects people to healthcare charities, and drives them to engage or not?   What connects people to your cause and drives them to engage?
Vision and goals   Do people know and understand what healthcare charity’s of today are aiming for?   Do supporters know and understand your vision and goals?
Making a difference   Do people know the difference healthcare charities make? Do they think they make a difference?   Do supporters know about the difference you make? Are they clear about how their support makes a difference?
Governance   Do people trust healthcare charities?   Do supporters trust how the charity is run?
Relationships   Do people think the healthcare charity sector values individual contributions and supporters?   Do supporters feel they are treated fairly, respected and engaged? How loyal are they?
Experiences   What do people think the experience of supporting a healthcare charity is like?   What is it like to experience your fundraising and other activities and be involved with you?


  • We will start with a collaborative workshop to shape the research objectives and discuss the business challenge with participating charities.
  • A national online survey and online focus groups with the public will explore perceptions and experiences of health charities. The survey will include people who have, and have not, supported a health charity in the last few years.
  • Promoting the online survey to your own supporters will generate data for comparison to the national picture.
  • You’ll also have the option to run online focus groups with your charity supporters to explore their experiences in more depth.
  • We’ll hold a solutions workshop to explore the evidence and its implications, share best practice, and innovate.


Beyond the opportunities for networking and sharing ideas at the kick-off workshop and action workshop, participating charities will receive:

  • A full written report outlining the ‘supporter experience’ of healthcare charities in the UK, and potential motivations and barriers to engagement amongst current supporters and non-supporters.
  • A local data report to compare your supporters experience to the sector experience.


Applications open:          26th February 2018.  – to apply e-mail

Applications close:          EXTENDED TO 20th April 2018.

Timings - Supporter experience in healthcare charities


We are seeking a maximum of 15 healthcare charities to contribute £4,950 (excl. VAT) towards the study, much less than the cost of a stand-alone project. Online focus groups with your supporters would be an additional £1,800 (excl. VAT).

Interested in this project?

If you’d like to discuss this project, then please contact Ben Hickman on 0161 6050862 or at

Current and recent projects with health charities include:

Charity Futures 1 aims to enable leading charities to understand how they can support GP’s to better support patients.  It has two strands, running in tandem. 

  • One strand is exploring how GP’s and long-term condition charities can better support patients, and is supported by The British Heart Foundation, Alzheimer’s Society and Arthritis Research UK taking part.
  • The other strand focuses on how GP’s and cancer charities can better support patients. It is supported by: Beating Bowel Cancer, The Brain Tumour Charity, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

National Osteoporosis Society - Evidence and engagement drive new strategic direction

The Brain Tumour Charity - Research leads to new insights on the real lives of adults and children with brain 

Meningitis Now - ‘Meningitis and Me’: new findings on the devastating impact of the disease inform strategic vision 

Bone Cancer Research Trust – new research on the impact of primary bone cancer marks a turning point for the charity 

Bone Cancer Research Trust - New brand: ‘Until there’s a cure’ 

Beating Bowel Cancer - Hidden Heartache: The untold story of bowel cancer 

Interested in Charity Futures 2: Healthcare charity supporter experience?

If you’d like to discuss this project, then please contact us contact Ben Hickman on 0161 6050862 or at