The National Trust - building a picture of supporters

26 June 2017 3:25pm

Since 1895, the National Trust has been saving the nation's heritage and open spaces. With 4 million members, and more than 67,000 volunteers contributing 4 million hours, the National Trust is the largest voluntary contribution organisation in Europe. It protects and opens to the public more than 300 historic houses and 160 gardens, 149 museums, 57 villages, 76 nature reserves, 707 miles of coastline, 255,000 hectares of land, including farmland and woodland, and 61 pubs and inns, as well as many industrial monuments, mills and archaeological sites. Pay-for-entry properties are host to more than 19.4 million paying visitors annually, with many more visitors to our open countryside properties.

The challenge

One of the largest charities in the UK, the National Trust has to generate revenues of more than £400 million a year to conduct its work. An important contribution is made by donations and legacies from its supporters, including major donors. The fundraising team is tasked with researching high net worth individuals, charitable trusts and companies that might be prepared to support the work of the National Trust. Up to date information on these prospects is an important part of building a picture of an individual and their business.

Sacha Newman, who is responsible for research for the major donor fundraising team for the charity comments: "When approaching major donors it is critical to have current information. For example if someone has recently divested assets they may be more approachable than someone who has recently experienced a loss making business. Up to date information on donors and prospective supporters ensures our approaches are made to relevant people at a suitable time."

The solutions

The National Trust chose Nexis® to support its research. Nexis is a comprehensive global news and business resource with more UK regional coverage than any similar provider, plus biographical, company, regulatory and legal information. Nexis contains over 28,000 news sources, local, national and international, and a huge range of company, financial and industry sources. The database also includes access to a variety of trade and professional business journals.

The benefits
  • Alerts to new information
  • Trusted information, trusted sources
  • One central resource for business information

Being alerted to new information is a feature that proved attractive as Sacha outlines: "Identifying and building a relationship with a potential donor is a long term process. It is very helpful to be able to track information on companies and those who run them over time. This enables us to discover relationships between different people and understand the business environment that our supporters and prospects are experiencing."

Whilst there is a wide range of freely available information on the internet, Sacha is convinced of the value of Nexis: "The issue with free web searches is that the information that comes back is skewed to the search provider's business model. Nexis provides a much "purer" search. For serious researchers, free search engines do not always give the best results. Having results you can rely on through a paid-for resource can save a lot of time." Sacha also praised the wide range of sources of information available: "It is powerful having a tool that uses trusted sources of information and serious news services."

Nexis enables the National Trust to build a broader picture of its supporters and potential supporters business interests Sacha continues: "In collaboration with other sources of information, Nexis enables us to build a stronger and richer picture of our supporters; how their businesses and assets are performing, recent news about them and their business relationships with others. This helps to add colour to the picture of our benefactors and prospects and ensures we make the right approach at the right time for their support."

The work of the National Trust is only possible with the collaboration of thousands of supporters; from volunteers and loyal members to major donors and those who remember the charity through a legacy.

The National Trust recognises the importance of approaching potential donors in a way that is respectful and relevant. "The information that we glean from Nexis enables us to generate a much richer picture and ensure our approaches are more relevant and timely," concludes Sacha.

Nexis - Find out

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