Reimagine Stewardship

Covid-19 has intensified the already mounting pressures on charity stewardship.

The first quarter of 2020 was dominated by emergency appeals and quick ‘asks’ and, as a result, charities were at risk of ignoring (or even damaging) the long-term sentiment of their supporters. As we emerge from lockdown and begin to see shreds of normality resume, investment in stewardship will be one of the most effective ways for charities to recover.

To quote Maya Angelou, ‘People will never forget how you made them feel’. So, invest in your supporters. Make them feel included and connected to your cause.

Here are four ways to create memorable moments for your audience.

People remember when you tap into their values.

Know your audience and stay on the pulse of what matters to them. This can enable you to respond in ways that don’t cost a lot, but are meaningful for your supporters. At the beginning of lockdown, National Trust did this well by recognising people’s desires to get outside and responding by opening their gardens for free. This resulted in a huge boost in positive sentiment amongst existing supporters and introduced new audiences to the cause.

People remember a personal touch.

Research informs us that over 70% of donors feel more engaged with a charity if they receive content that is personal. However, there is a need to find the balance between personalisation versus personal. We recently did this in our work for Macmillan Coffee Morning by celebrating the individual supporter as a unique ‘star baker’; the clever use of data allowed us to make the communications feel more special without veering into the risky ‘catch-all’ space

People remember the power of creativity.

Creative communications are another way to make your supporters feel great. Patch Plants standout as a brand that uses creativity cleverly to make their products feel ‘human’. From their unique tone of voice, to the fun touches such as giving each plant an individual personality and ‘introducing’ them to their new ‘parent’ (read: customer), they make the purchase experience memorable.

People remember experiences.

It is important to remember that the timeframe for stewardship is a lifetime. A regular on the festival scene, WaterAid gives attendees a great experience. For some, it might be the chat at a water kiosk at Glastonbury that sticks in their mind, which later leads to voluntary or financial support. For this reason, a cross-department view of stewardship is crucial.

At GOOD, we have created a 7 point manifesto to help you reimagine stewardship. These are 7 things to be mindful of when

  • Inclusion: I feel included
  • Connection: I feel part of something (belonging)
  • Power: I feel that my voice matters
  • Relevance: I feel understood
  • Authenticity: this feels right for the org
  • Enjoyment: I feel entertained
  • Positivity: I feel special

>GET IN TOUCH if you would like to learn more.