Why Your Supporters Belong at the Center of Your Marketing

Why Your Supporters Belong at the Center of your Marketing
Picture your next vacation. What sounds better, a pre-organized group trip to see the sites of one of the world’s greatest cities or something off the beaten path that you can tailor on your own? Depending on your preferences, a tourist-packed extravaganza could seem like a blessing or a curse. The point is that everyone has a different opinion of his or her “ideal” vacation.

Your donors are the same way. Some are perfectly happy receiving a flyer in the mail every few months reminding them to donate. Others find these methods outdated and impersonal. While still others want to get information from your organization’s mail, phone, email marketing and social marketing communications at various points in their engagement with you.

The consumer industry has understood and embraced the mantra of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, and they’ve dedicated many resources to developing top-notch content and leveraging systems that provide customers with relevant and timely engagement experiences.

Non-profits are facing resource challenges and increasingly endless options for technology to execute on more sophisticated marketing programs. But planning for improved, donor-centric marketing requires only one thing: taking the first step and making sure that step is strategic and well thought through.

At Heller Consulting, we work with organizations to help develop robust engagement journeys. At the heart of it, an engagement journey gives your organization a map to help better serve your constituents’ needs and to meet your organization goals. It can serve as a reference that allows you to compare the existing experience to what you strive to create, while helping you define the techniques and tools that you will need to deliver that experience.

This process can be challenging for nonprofits of any size or maturity. Growing organizations usually do not have the resources to purchase the necessary technology or invest in staff, while established organizations can be so diverse and complex they struggle to reach constituents on a personal level. The thing to remember is that this is a process, and an effective engagement journey is the starting point for progress and personalization. Stay tuned for the rest of our series on engagement journeys and creating strong relationships.

Emma Shipley

About Emma Shipley

I have always held a passion for community involvement, fundraising, and volunteering, which has brought me in touch with a number of nonprofit organizations. During my time at Indiana University, I worked with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network to connect citizens with their ideal volunteer experience while promoting volunteerism in the community. In addition, I spent the summer of 2012 working as a mentor for adolescent girls ages 5-15 at Girls, Incorporated of Monroe County. I received my degree in Journalism with a focus in Marketing and Visual Communications. In my free time, I enjoy live music, visiting farmer’s markets, trying new recipes, and exploring Chicago.

One comment

  1. What a great article! Looking forward to see how the series unfolds.

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