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Practices to develop supporter relationships

What could you replace the practices you are fasting with this Lent?

ByClaire Fuller |FundraisingMarketingCopywritingEvents |09 March 2017

You may have chosen to make some personal sacrifices for the 40 days of Lent, or perhaps your organisation has chosen to “give up” some practices to the benefit of your supporters (please see our previous blog for ideas of practices you may wish to give up).  But did you know, for many people, Lent is not just about giving things up, rather, it’s about replacing these things with other (maybe healthier or more beneficial) practices.

So, during the next few weeks, what practices could your organisation “take up” to delight, inspire and engage your supporters even more than you currently do?

7 new habits to develop your supporter relationships:

  1. Arrange an event for your supporters - Events are great for encouraging people to get involved and support a cause, whilst also having fun themselves. An event for supporters can provide a real opportunity to show them that their support is recognised and valued which may encourage them to keep supporting your cause.  But be careful, a lavish event could lead your supporters to feel that their support is no longer needed
  2. Keep your supporters informed – Take time to update your subscribers with news about the difference that their support is making.  Help them feel good about being involved by showing them the problems they are helping to solve and being clear about how their support is making a difference.  Everyone likes to feel that there’s meaning in their own life decisions and actions, so it can also help to indicate how a supporter’s gift also reflects and supports their own values
  3. Review your website – It’s likely to be the first place people will go to find out more about your organisation. Clear messaging, eye-catching imagery and up to date information will help people get to know and understand your cause, and most importantly, be able to make an informed choice about adding their own support
  4. Planning your next campaigns – Whilst ad hoc campaigns can be organised as a direct response to times of disaster or emergency, there is great value in planning seasonal campaigns and regular communications in advance. Having time to organise mailings to coincide with events and to craft relevant messages which inspire and inform can greatly increase engagement and drive results.  Not only does a well-planned campaign appear structured and professional, it also indicates that you are organised, active and builds trust with your supporters    
  5. Do some research – When planning future campaigns, making social media posts and updating your website it’s helpful to consider what types of adverts or literature have caught your attention, made you stop and cause you to experience different emotions.  Considering your own responses to marketing messages can help you to create powerful campaigns, tell compelling stories and inspire people to support your cause and get connected to it
  6. Start some new conversations – Help your supporters feel good and to understand that their personal involvement in your organisation is important.  Show them that they matter and you care about them as individuals by taking the time to converse with them.  Perhaps consider your use of social media as a place to start conversations, asking supporters for their opinions on posts, or encouraging them to take part in online polls, showing that you’re not just interested in the donations they make to your cause
  7. Do some cleaning – It’s vital to keep the data you hold about your supporters and their communication preferences up to date, particularly in light of recent recommendations from the ICO and the Fundraising Regulator.  Please view our recent blog for advice on data cleansing and consent  or, for help with unpacking the guidance and regulations and taking practical steps to develop the right response for your organisation you might wish to attend our next workshop on 29th March.  Please contact us to find out more

We hope this Lent is an encouraging time for you and your organisation.  If you’d like to explore any ways that we can assist you in taking up any of these new habits please get in touch, we’d love to help you make more of a difference in your work.

References and Acknowledgements:

Future Fundraising Now 
Image courtesy of Istock

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