Today’s podcast features Louis Diez, the founder of the Donor Participation Project (DPP).

Louis set up the DPP with a single goal – to try to reverse the decline in the number of people giving to charity. Until recently, its members have predominantly been US fundraisers, but increasingly, more people from around the world are joining and the group is now 1,500 strong. I recently signed up, and if you listen to what Louis has to say, I think you will too.

Membership (which is free) offers access to monthly, 45-minute online discussion sessions where the group gets together to share ideas and thoughts about what’s moving the needle of giving in the right direction. These are backed up with loads of great content shared on the DPP LinkedIn group. They have also just launched their first online conference.

The conference is a series of two-hour sessions where one or two core speakers lead with their thoughts on a specific area of fundraising and a group of other practitioners then share a single piece of insight in two-minute lightning presentations. Everything is pulled together in the chat. This Friday’s session (6th May 2022) is on scrappy innovation and next Friday they are looking at the future of major gift fundraising. If you are interested you can find out more and sign up here. There is a small payment for the conference but you’ll also get access to videos of the previous sessions. The first was on how donor’s preferred communications styles are changing and the second looked at how we can grow engagement amongst people from under represented groups (where you’ll see me appear in a lightning session sharing an important finding from our new research into attitudes to giving amongst British Hindus).

The DPP is building a community of fundraisers who care about growing their understanding of what is working – and sharing what they learn. They know there is no simple answer and recognise that hearing many different voices increases the chances of producing incremental advances. But they also realise that these have to be delivered through a system that makes ideas and new approaches accessible.

To that end, they work with three pillars – understanding the dynamics of content delivery, appreciating how a community functions and finally, how to best make that ask. It’s all straightforward stuff, but what makes it so exciting is that the focus is on low-cost solutions – often driven by free tech.

So take a listen and see what you think. You’ll hear that Louis is a Higher Education fundraiser so we do spend some time talking about alumni giving before moving on to broader fundraising topics, but everything is relevant to all sectors. Sadly, sound quality isn’t brilliant but the content is great. I hope I’ll see you amongst the DPP-ers at the next meet up.

The two books mentioned are Get Together by Bailey Richardson, Kevin Huynh and Kai Elmer Sotto, and The Socratic Fundraiser by Dr Russell James.