NEWS: New Rogare initiatives to collate and signpost best evidence-backed ideas for use in practice

  • New ‘Knowledge Collectives’ will sift best evidence- and theory-backed research
  • First Knowledge Collectives to look at legacy and corporate fundraising
  • Staffed by practitioners who are experts in their fields to co-create knowledge base.

Rogare is today (20 May 2021) launching a major new strand of work – called Knowledge Collectives – that are designed to help fundraisers find the best theory and evidence to inform their professional practice.

Knowledge Collectives are composed of members of Rogare’s Critical Fundraising (CFR) Network who have a keen and specialist interest in the subject matter. Each Collective has a project leader and a core team to deliver both of its main roles:

The first role is to convene in the manner of a study or discussion group to identify gaps in research, evidence and theory and suggest ways to fill them, come up with new research questions, and look at barriers to knowledge and suggest ways to overcome them. The Collective will also look for new ideas, thinking and trends, and anything else that might be interesting or relevant. It will then share these with the rest of the CFR Network and the profession as a whole. 

The second role is to collate and signpost the best existing knowledge about particular subjects so that fundraisers have a go-to source of the best available evidence and theory. There is a defined and robust process that Rogare has developed for doing this, which sets out, for example, the evidential criteria for discriminating between different types of source (e.g. an academic paper vis-à-vis market research).

The first two Knowledge Collectives – announced today – will focus on corporate and legacy fundraising.

The Corporate Fundraising Knowledge Collective first aims to establish research questions and barriers to knowledge in corporate fundraising to kick off the study group, before building the knowledge base. It is led by Damian Chapman, director of strategic marketing and income generation at the Charity for Civil Servants in the UK and a member of the Rogare Council. 

On launching the corporate fundraising knowledge collective, Damian Chapman said:

“With evidence beyond individual examples of success or failure by non-profits difficult to find, we aim to develop and share a resource-hub of best evidence and research that enhances corporate fundraising knowledge in the profession, dispels some of the widely-quoted myths around corporate fundraising, and highlights the disconnect between practice and evidence that is common in so many non-profits around the world.”

“Corporate fundraising means so many different things around the world, and is routinely seen as a ‘dark-art’ because it is often misunderstood by practitioners and decision-makers alike. There are more than a dozen different fundraising elements that all come under the banner term of corporate fundraising and, more often than not, the only metric people care about is the cash.

The first task of the Legacy Fundraising Knowledge Collective – led by renowned legacy expert Claire Routley, also a member of Rogare’s Council – will be to publish an initial draft of the recommended knowledge base for legacy fundraising.

“With interest growing in legacy giving, the last decade or so has seen a real growth in high-quality information available to legacy fundraisers, from academic studies to ‘how-to’ texts. We hope that pulling that information together, and providing some signposting through it, through the Legacy Fundraising Knowledge Collective will be of real benefit to practitioners. It’s a particular issue with so many organisations seeking to invest in legacy fundraising for the first time, and therefore, so many fundraisers having to rapidly develop their skills in this area.” 

Ian MacQuillin, Rogare’s director, says:

“Rogare’s whole rationale is to help fundraisers use the best theory and evidence to inform their professional practice. But before they can use it, they have to know where to find it, and then be able to identify the best research and recommendations.

“Our new Knowledge Collectives will signpost to fundraisers to the best available research-backed ideas. These Collectives are run by some of the most knowledgeable fundraisers in their specialist area, for the benefit of their peers and colleagues in the profession, ensuring that professionals have a say in the co-creation of their own knowledge base.”

Findings and recommendations from each Knowledge Collective will be posted on the Rogare website in due course, on a new section for professional practice. Details of any new material will be announced via Rogare’s Twitter stream, on LinkedIn and through the Critical Fundraising Forum on Facebook. 

We aim to establish at least three new Collectives before the end of the year, with major gifts and face-to-face being among the front runners. Anyone wishing to run a Rogare Knowledge Collective in their specialist subject should contact Ian MacQuillin –

Legacy team:

  • Claire Routley – project team leader
  • Juan Hendrawan Putra – WWF (Belgium)
  • Lucy Lowthian – Samaritans (UK)
  • Ligia Peña ­­– LFP Solutions (Canada)
  • Shah Alam – Macmillan Cancer Support (UK)
  • Jessica Wrobelewski – University of Waterloo (Canada)

Damian Chapman is still assembling the team for the Corporate Fundraising Knowledge Collective. Anyone who is interested in participating should reach out to Damian via LinkedIn.

More details of the Knowledge Collectives can be found on the new professional practice section of the Rogare website, which also includes details of the work we did with Remarkable Partnerships on making charity-corporate partnerships more ambitious. The final report of this project was published on the Remarkable Partnerships website last year. You can down download two preliminary papers form this project on the Rogare website.

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