Supporter journey thinking

In many occasions fundraisers manage stand-alone direct mail campaigns, telemarketing campaigns or any other channel-campaigns. With hardly any idea whether the timing and proposition are suitable to the supporter, but just because they fit general selection criteria or their own planning. This is how we’re all used to work and what has brought us success so far. But this won’t be successful in the future. Supporter journey thinking can be your starting point for a supporter-oriented fundraising program.

Supporters can add value to your organization in many more ways than just donating money. Like sharing social content, signing petitions, doing voluntary work, buying merchandise, etc. And it’s great that they are willing to give you their support in these ways, and not just with their Euros, Dollars or Yen. When your organization is able to bring all these forms of engagement and support together, then you can start supporter journey thinking.

For me, supporter journey thinking has three important aspects:

  1. Balancing asking for value and offering value to the supporter in order to work on a sustainable relationship
  2. Collect data through all the touchpoints and use this knowledge to build better supporter profiles
  3. Automate your marketing process

1.) Many fundraisers love to ask for money (and they should!). But for some supporter segments it’s sometimes better to ask for something else, or simply to ask nothing and give value instead. A question… do you know what the value is for your supporters that motivates them? What do they get out of supporting your organization? Find out what this is for each supporter segment and make sure you integrate this into your message.

2.) Generate a single customer view with all the data you have. Apart from the obvious contact details and transactional data, also (non-) response data from all channels, online data and survey data will help you to build better profiles of your supporters. Based on these data you can decide which proposition might be best to offer, via which channel and most important, WHEN. Based on what people do or don’t do, you need to learn when they are most likely to be ready for your next message. It’s not up to you when to communicate, it’s up to the supporter!

3.) Start drawing a supporter flow that represents the supporter journey. Do this together with all people responsible for specific supporter segments. And to remind you, this is not only fundraising… Yes, this makes the process harder, but it will make you all grow stronger. Drawing the flow forces you to structure to all the specific contact moments with your supporter. This also makes it possible to automate the flow! Some of your digital communication might already be automated, like your thank-you e-mail. But now you can automate even more, including the direct mail and telemarketing campaigns. Imagine how much time you save for monitoring and optimizing your fundraising!

In a next blog I will talk more about how to develop a supporter journey and important reminders for this.

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