Yesterday, we enjoyed running a workshop for a charity that has bitten the bullet and decided to have a go at reaching out to a new type of supporter. This is the elephant-in-the room for many charities who wrestle with the need to expand their supporter databases to generations beyond the 50+ segment. It was heartening to design a process with this charity as they set out on the journey to address the problem that seems to bother everyone.
Supporter Centred Design
At PlanLab, we call this process Supporter Centred Design; understanding who these people are and secondly designing the fundraising products and supporter relationship out from there.
Commonly, fundraising teams think about the cause that they are fundraising for and then come up with ideas; hoping that they will appeal. Instead, a flipped way of working and a flipped mindset is required, so that the charity gets to know this different type of potential supporter before any fundraising product design is done. This way of thinking needs to be adopted in order to build new cohorts of supporters.
What do you need to know about a new type of supporter before you sit down and work on fundraising campaigns and resources? We sum it up as,
Getting Under Their Skin
A completely new profile of supporter can only be engaged with when you know these things because the nature of engagement has adapted over the last few years.
When multimedia developed in the 20th century, it opened up new opportunities for communication that enabled us to broadcast our stories and messages. What has happened with the Digital Revolution, increasingly in the last 10 years, is that digitisation has created a culture of collaboration and interaction. We live in a world that communicates back and expects to be given an experience where they can create and contribute.
Knowing your supporters in the ways that extend over and above demographics, can inform how you then approach the features of your fundraising products and campaigns. It takes courage to start and think that it is possible. Getting over that first hurdle, will enable you to enter new relationships and expand into segments that helps your cause obtain a following. A following that adds years to your charities existence, reaching beyond the current supporter segments of 50+.
Be aspirational and talk to us about reaching new people and connecting with them...