What themes should you campaign on? The best way to find out is to ask your supporters, to engage them in a conversation. Sounds simple, but it needs careful planning.
You can’t simply ask them out of the blue – supporters need to be guided through the process so that their chosen campaign is one that the charity can deliver. We also found it’s important to make sure you draw a clear connection between the way you engage your supporters and the outcome.
We have had success with social media engagement and with traveling video booths that targeting one demographic. The trouble is that supporter engagement consultations can be painstaking and inward looking. But do they have to be?
What does a good supporter engagement strategy look like?
The answer is it reflects your supporters, meets them where they are and really listens to what they have to say. It’s also crucial to acknowledge that supporters will engage with your organisation in many different ways, and that’s OK.
Supporter engagement strategies are another place we believe People Powered Communications can shine. All your supporters are people, and your organisation is run by people. Sharing your stories and passions from one person to another is the strongest way we know to build momentum.
Our approach to this activity draws on the experience of working on large charity projects, two of which adopted a consultative process to engage supporters and also aimed to promote the charities involved. Both campaigns resulted in increased profile and solid supporter engagement; both also helped support brand building and both helped deliver a vision and a theory of change for the charities concerned.
We showed the supporters that they had been listened to, closing the loop of engagement. We did this by sharing the actions that had been taken because of the supporter engagement strategy. We made a video built from over 5,000 supporter voices. We held an event where the video was shown to parliamentarians and ran a carefully targetted press campaign.
What can result from a well run supporter engagement strategy?
The result is not just an engaged supporter base, but also a great campaign. You will know more about your supporters and what’s important to them. You will also be sure that your campaign is what your most important constituency really wants.
Engaged supporters are also more likely to be open to taking other actions to support your cause. From clicktivism, to contacting parliamentarians to attending events, hearing the voices of your supporters can only amplify your action, and increase your impact.
An engaged base of supporters is also a key ingredient in building a fundraising strategy. We can work with fundraising specialists to develop a programme to help monetise this engagement if that’s a part of your strategy.
Cost and timing? TBC on specification