Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The red paper clip and supporter development

I stumbled across this the other day and it was a great reminder that certain ambitions and aspirations cannot be achieved over night.
In this case the guy took one step at a time to achieve his objective - 14 in fact to trade-up from a paperclip to a house! And I think that is a useful realisation when it comes to fundraising and developing supporter relationships.  In fact it is probably helpful logic to apply to most ambitions.  
Obviously, as a fundraiser the aim is to build supporter engagement and where possible to move supporters up the giving pyramid.  I think it is also fair to say that this pyramid and the stages will vary depending on a number of factors: recruitment method, the profile of the supporter, their reasons for supporting in the first place and so on.  For some it could take two stages for others 14 and I think it is useful to remember that when assessing your fundraising programmes or when implementing new strategies.  So some things to think about before you commence your journey... 
  • Where are your supporters now? 
  • What activities are driving growth in your programme?
  • What are the gaps in the programme and what are the priorities to fill? Is it Middle Value or Legacy for example?
It's important to know where you are starting from to then decide where you are going to.
  • What are the steps or new elements that will try to fill these gaps? 
  • Will they make sense to the donor? i.e. if the next ask is a middle donor one?
  • Is it worth the investment from your perspective (at this particular time)?
  • How are you going to measure the success or impact of the new strategy, programme or approach? What are you going to put in place to determine whether taking approach A - would have been better than continuing with B?
  • What are you going to do differently if these approaches don't work?
All rather obvious stuff - but some times in the heat of communications plans we are probably not as critical as we could be.

Just as importantly though - we need to ensure that we take time to celebrate success - no matter how small - and if you are measuring that against your overall aim then you'll know you are on the right track - and you are taking the logical next step.  Here's to the successes.  I hope there will be many!

Thanks as ever for stopping by.

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