The Brooke: Connect Assist conducts a comprehensive review of communication with donors


Brooke The Brooke is an international animal welfare organisation that aims to  improve the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the  world’s poorest communities, including Africa, Asia and Latin America. It  supports communities that are dependent on animals for their livelihoods  by offering veterinary treatment, training and education programmes on  animal health and wellbeing. 

The majority of The Brooke’s income comes from public donations; over  95% of its 2014 income in fact. This dependence on goodwill from  supporters means that a strong fundraising and donor retention strategy is  extremely important for the organisation and its future plans.
We were appointed to audit The Brooke’s supporter care systems, which  are managed by a combination of internal staff and outsourced partners. The objective was to assess the charity’s processes and offer guidance on how to improve efficiency and help increase donations.


 We conducted a comprehensive review of how staff members communicate with the charity’s donors. This involved closely observing the way the supporter care team manages all enquiries – ranging from people needing general information to more in-depth conversations. A specific focus was examining how The Brooke delivers supporter care and encourages donations.

The tailored audit included:

  • Gaining an understanding of the charity’s fundraising techniques
  • Conducting interviews with staff members and outsourced providers
  • Examining its telephony system technology
  • Mapping skillsets within the supporter care team against current resource and roles

After two months we presented our detailed initial findings and 22 recommendations to The Brooke’s senior management team. The report focused on six key areas that needed to be addressed to improve efficiency and provide a high-quality service. This included:

  • How the supporter care function help contribute to overall income targets
  • Introducing specific KPIs for the supporter care team
  • Changing the team structure
  • Transforming the management of enquiries
  • Upgrading the telephony system
  • Transforming the way financial donations are processed internally

As part of our service, we offered training and support to transform the charity’s working practices, with the aim of increasing donations and delivering better supporter care.

Activity comprised of:

  • Redesigning The Brooke’s call handling process by developing call structures that allow its team to categorise and manage enquiries more efficiently
  • Assigning staff members to tasks specific to their skillset to ensure optimum service delivery
  • Writing a new specification for telephony systems – we are now developing this to incorporate into a new fundraising customer relationship management system


Jasvir Kaur, Director of Fundraising and Communications at The Brooke said:

“Connect Assist worked extremely closely with our internal staff and external outsourcers to carry out a comprehensive audit of our system. The team’s recommendations were extremely useful and relevant to our charity’s fundraising and external donor communications service.

“The consultancy team understood that effective supporter care involves strong fundraising skills and tactics, and I’m confident its recommendations will contribute to our income in the long-term.

“Our team is now much more positive and better suited to their roles. One of our employees had concerns about the role she was matched to, but now she loves her new position.

“Crucially, the review helped us to identify examples of best practice and more efficient ways of doing things. As a charity, we now feel we have the tools to offer a better service, help us grow and increase donations.

“We would recommend Connect Assist’s services to anyone who feels their organisation’s supporter care function could be more efficient. We learned that there is always room for improvement and are looking forward to seeing the results.”



Case Study

Case Study: Grocery Aid

1.1.          Grocery Aid

1.1.1.      About our customer

Grocery Aid, the trading name of the National Grocers' Benevolent Fund, is the charity for the grocery industry. Grocery Aid helps people all over the UK who have worked, or are working, in the grocery industry and have now found that they need some extra support to get by. The help that Grocery Aid provides can make a very real difference and it provides not only monetary support, but also appliances and everyday items that many take for granted.

1.1.2.      The service we provide

The helpline was a new service for Grocery Aid. We set about improving the reach of their valuable service and sought to reach out to the people needing the help and support that they provide. In early 2010, Connect Assist successfully helped Grocery Aid launch their first helpline via our 24/7 Contact Centre. Today we offer multi-channel solutions via phone, e-mail, knowledgebase, ask a question and live chat.   The multi-channel helpline provides information and support to people and business owners working in the trade – from large supermarkets to corner shops. This includes an innovative ‘incident support’ service following attacks, arson and other incidents that are prevalent within the industry.


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