Helen Daw, Head of Data Strategy and Insight at Woods Valldata shares her big take-aways from BBCon 2020 as we look to fundraising in the future:
Accept and Adapt
As Mark Stevenson so succinctly and impactfully put it in his super session, ‘What does the future hold?’ at BBCon this year, the world needed to change for the better and this pandemic of ours has highlighted that. The way to come from this is to improve things, to change things, to be better.
Don’t be a Narcissus looking and thinking everything was wonderful as it was, it wasn’t. Accept it. Change. Be brave and bold. Drive forward. Come back better.
This was the key overarching message for me throughout the conference.
In our sector, we know that we have needed to improve and grow, and again, Covid-19 has highlighted that and catapulted us forward at a pace of knots, pushing us into the necessary change that needed to happen. Those that succeed will be those that accept and adapt.
Key Fundraising Take-Aways
Within the overarching message, I found four key threads running through the truly international sessions, which was wonderful to see and feel showing we’re all in this together and learning in the same ways regardless of where we are in the world.
1. Put your supporter at the centre of everything you do
A shift was already in play: to focus more on our supporters, to show our love and cherish them. It’s even more important in these difficult times. Our supporters are our bedrock. They will see us through if we keep them close, keep them engaged, keep them feeling valued and like they are helping the world. Tap into the emotional triggers that support this – help your supporters feel better and happy by giving to you and feeling valued. Justin Dillon and Jen Shang in their sessions demonstrated this in such an inspiring and moving way. I had tears in my eyes at both.
Try new things. Find ways around problems. The message was loud and clear that the move to online, digital and virtual was developing fast and was here to stay. However, it was also clear that joined up communications were vitally important…don’t throw the baby out with the bath water…it’s all about integration, working together across charity teams, omni-channel thinking.
3. Gather insights and understand
We are having to adapt to new ways of fundraising, trying out new things and acting fast. Track and learn, test, take forward the insights into the longer-term planning. Understand your supporters: who are they? How do they interact with you? What do they expect from you? Build your audiences and profiles. Develop supporter journeys and content to reflect them. Build the engagement and make them feel loved and special.
4. Keep asking
People want to help. Some may not be able to. Some may need to change the way they give and the amount they give. Help them in that. Be flexible and supportive. But keep asking, give people the opportunity to help you, they want to.
In summary, for me the future (although a little unknown and scary) is a bright one if we want it to be. Our supporters will be very much front and centre of all that we do. It feels right in this time of heightened awareness of the world and the people and communities around us.
We’d love to know your thoughts on fundraising in the future. Drop us a line by email or on linkedin.