Who are your supporters? And what do they need from you to reach their potential as star advocates or loyal donors? You might be sitting on thousands (perhaps millions) of data points that could answer these questions. But how do you make sense of it all? Here’s a good place to start.
Profiling lets you create measures of engagement that are directly linked to your organization’s mission. This allows you to understand the contributions of your supporters in new and meaningful ways—both at the micro and macro level.
Profiling works hand in hand with pipelines, which allow you to design journeys that guide supporters down progressively deeper levels of engagement. These pathways can be tailored to specific interests and profile types.
The ‘Circles of Commitment’ framework allows you visualize a map of your supporter engagement. It looks a little like this:
All of your supporters sit somewhere on the map. The least engaged sit at the periphery; the most engaged are in the centre. Our aim is to move supporters from the community towards the core.
To have any hope of achieving this, we need to know exactly where everyone sits, and then offer the right support to the right supporter at the right time. How can you do this when you have hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of supporters?? Profiling, segmentation, and journey mapping—that’s how. It all starts with getting to know your supporters.
How do supporters fuel your organization’s mission? It might be more nuanced than a single linear journey ‘to the core’. At Animals Australia, we looked at supporter engagement in three dimensions:
Often we think of supporter engagement from a single perspective — donation history, for example. But that only tells us part of the story. Combining these perspectives allows us to create a three-dimensional snapshot of each supporter.
When you’ve done this, you’ll have created a multi-dimensional snapshot of each supporter. This allows you to see, at a glance, how individual supporters are choosing to engage, and at what level.
Once you’ve mapped the profiles of all supporters, aggregate data can quickly bring into focus a new macro view of your engagement. You’ll know exactly what proportion of your base is sitting nearest the core and at the periphery.
For the first time, you’ll be able to monitor org-wide engagement trends and spot the early warning signs of supporter fatigue. You’ll understand what makes your supporter base unique and the all-important overlap between donors and activists.
Importantly, you’ll be able to set meaningful targets for strengthening engagement and shifting supporters towards the core.
The next step is to design pipelines to get them there.
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