After weeks of planning and build up, it was finally time for the hotly anticipated I Wish I’d Thought of That – supporter experience webinar hosted by the incredible team at SOFII. The event is something we at Dragonfly look forward to each year and to make things even more exciting, we were proud headline sponsor for the day. After a bright and punchy introduction, which included our very own Isla Munro welcoming all attendees and speakers, we got things underway.
Annie Perez – Pret a Manger
The first speaker was Annie Perez, Retention Specialist at ActionAid. Annie delivered an incredibly passionate and clear overview of how she went from customer to advocate, based on her own brand and customer experience with Pret a Manger. Julian Metcalfe, Co-founder of Pret, says “In hindsight, we realise that what brings a customer back, is a good product at the right price and with the right service. You can fool a customer once or twice, but after that, they will not come back”. Annie added “It sometimes takes mistakes, time and money to appreciate what is right in front of you… an audience, in our case supporters, the people who come to you, the people who experience you and what you have to offer AND the people who go on to talk about you”. Annie then went on to talk about her own personal experience in Pret and how everything in store gives her the opportunity to be who she wants to be. From the selection of food and drink right through to the environmentally friendly cutlery. This has taken Annie from being a transient one-off customer, to an informed and aware advocate for Pret.
Shabby Amini – Greenpeace
Next up was Shabby Amini who is an independent fundraising consultant with 14 years’ experience in the non-profit sector. Having heard Shabby deliver a presentation recently, we were excited to hear her next instalment. Shabby kicked things off by discussing how face-to-face had ground to a halt, festivals were non-existent, and the opportunities to spend time together had been few and far between. This is where Greenpeace and their amazing team changed gears as they always do and delivered something personal that could reach their existing & prospect donor base in directly to their homes. This was done in the form of a door drop explaining that they would be coming to see them soon at their doors and to completely assure the public it was safe. To make people feel further reassured they included an adhesive sticker in the door drop that people could stick on their doors if they didn’t feel comfortable answering the door. Genius! Not only did they check in on their supporters, but they gave them the power over what happened next which will have empowered these supporters. When Greenpeace door to door staff did eventually reach peoples doors, they literally rolled out the “green carpet” at a perfect length to show they were standing a safe distance away. This was an excellent conversation starter and resulted in Greenpeace going beyond the sign ups they previously achieved so a great result all round.
Catherine Deakin – RNLI
Our third speaker of the day was Catherine Deakin, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Changing Faces UK. Catherine’s IWITOT was the RNLI Spring Appeal. Catherine was born less than a mile from RNLI HQ in Dorset, so for her, this one is deeply personal. The RNLI are a completely voluntary funded organisation who save lives at sea. These volunteers put their own lives at risk each day to save ours. Catherine then shared a short, yet powerful video around Alfie’s story. Alfie was stranded at sea and barring a phone call to the RNLI, things might have ended up very different for Alfie. Within a few minutes of the call being made, the team from Abersoch Lifeboat Station arrived with Alfie, winched him to their helicopter and was flown to hospital where he was treated and released the very same day. At a time where over a third of staff were furloughed, community fundraising was on its knees, the RNLI decided not to ask for donations, but to check in on their supporters with a very simple message. “You’re part of the crew, and crew members look out for each other. Let us stay in touch during these difficult time”. RNLI continued in this fashion across all channels and updated monthly communications to weekly ones. This resulted in the RNLI raising twice what they had expected to that spring. A simple letter in an envelope raised over £350,000 just by asking if people were OK. What an incredible result from something so simple and meaningful.
Lesley Pinder – Timpson
Next up to the plate was Lesley Pinder, Head of Supporter Experience at British Red Cross. Lesley’s story was all about Timpson, the key cutting and shoe repair specialists. You may have seen them inside your local supermarket over the years, but what you probably did not know, is what makes Timpson the business it is. Lesley’s #IWITOT was upside down management. This is where the customer sits at the top of the tree, with store workers next in line and finally the management and board members at the bottom. Without customers, there is no business and at Timpson, the management team have given flexibility to the in-store team to ensure they can maximise the customers experience and ensure retained business. They even give employees the power to change the price of an item to appease customers and even stipulate, the pricing on the shelf is just a guide. Timpson also have a £500 limit in place to resolve any instore customer dispute to ensure complaints are handled quickly and on the spot and let the customer enjoy their day.
Julia Ammon – BEAM
Julia Ammon then took the stage to share her #IWITOT which was all about BEAM. BEAM is a social enterprise that was created in 2017. It helps homeless people into employment and on the road to an independent life. Each person on the BEAM website is referred to them by a homelessness charity or local authority. Each person that is on the BEAM website is portrayed in a very positive way. It isn’t all doom and gloom and what has happened to them in the past. The focus is about what they want to achieve and what supporters can do to help. BEAM is all about transparency. As a supporter, Julia was encouraged and reassured that her £5 donation was going directly to Sebastian’s campaign. When Julia donated on the website, she had an option to add an additional 10% to support running costs of the organisation. BEAM are very clear on their website around where donations are spent on things like campaigns, staffing and running costs. There is also a strong sense of community. This isn’t just about a community of beneficiaries or donors, it’s about bringing supporters, beneficiaries and staff together.
Simone Owens – Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony
If animals are your thing, this next one will be a particular favourite. Our next speaker was Simone Owens, Executive Manager for Individual Giving at the PA Research Foundation in Australia. Simone’s story revolved all around a family holiday to New Zealand. Whilst there, Simone and her family came upon the Oamaru Blue Penguin Colony. Blue penguins are the smallest breed of penguin on earth and over the years have been decimated due to the introduction of predators like cats, dogs, and foxes. Simone’s family liked and followed the social media pages so that they could keep up to date on all the fantastic news stories surrounding the penguins and vowed to return in future. Then 2020 hit. Due to not being able to travel, Simone’s family engaged more and more with the social channels and one day, came across a post saying that they could adopt a penguin. This isn’t something shiny and new, to a seasoned fundraiser like Simone, sending a personalised communication is the best way to go. Simone was contacted personally via email by Georgia. Georgia addressed all of Simone’s questions personally and in detail, going through all the necessary information before the adoption was confirmed. Now adopted, the penguin is called Flippie and Georgia not only posted the adoption pack same day, but also popped out to take a photograph of Flippie to include in the pack. Now that is how to create an incredible donor experience.
Amy Petterson – Guide Dogs Australia
Next in the spotlight was Amy Petterson, Head of Community Fundraising at Royal Air Forces Association. Today though and for one day only, Amy was Chief Christmas Cheerleader talking all about Guide Dogs Australia and their 12 stewardships of Pawgust. Pawgust is Guide Dogs Australia’s biggest mass participation event. They based their campaign on insight and with the support of a PR agency, were able to engage the public, media and press with an evidence-based call to action. The whole campaign was kept very simple. Walk, raise money, support guide dogs. This resulted in an incredible 99% accessibility rate. Guide Dogs also had a central dashboard to keep everything in one place and improve supporter experience. To quote “We were also able to have established accounts of repeat participants, meaning there were less barriers”. Our favourite part of this #IWITOT was all about the Pawdometer. This is a custom-built product aiming to get people over the fundraising start line. The aim was to raise $25 in the first 48 hours of signing up. Many achieved this and they also had a well thought out donor journey which included a welcome call. This proved to be a great element as those who received the call, went on to raise on average $39 more than those who didn’t. Guide Dogs certainly put the FUN back into fundraising with this one.
Leanne Howard-Dace – Who Gives a Crap
Who Gives a Crap. This one took us by surprise at first but when Leanne Howard-Dace, Independent Fundraising Consultant started talking, it all made sense. Who gives a crap toilet paper is a social enterprise who donate 50% of their profits to water projects. Their brand, customer experience and the way they report back on impact are all amazing. It’s playful and engaging without compromising on the power on the power of the impact reporting. Who gives a crap was started after the team behind it learned that 2.4 billion people do not have access to a toilet, that’s the equivalent to around 40% at the time. Since then, the brand has gone on to grow significantly whilst also maintaining its pledge to donate 50% of all profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world. Leanne went on to discuss her personal experience talking about the simple order/reorder process, the incredibly engaging animal GIFs to help engage more with their audience and last chance emails to generate a need and reminder emails to let customers know when they are likely to run out and need to order again. It was an all-round engaging experience made fun by their unique style whilst always driving home the key positive impacts you as a customer are helping them achieve.
The next #IWITOT came from Ula Saiegh and was all about British Red Cross. Ula is Supporter Giving Officer at The Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership. The BRC TikTok account has seen extraordinary growth over the last 9 months. They understand the platform, study trends, and ultimately make videos that people enjoy watching. Ula talks initially about the past year and how we have all had to change the way we live and communicate with each other. Keeping supporters engaged is vitally important to any charity and in this case, Ula shows how BRC has increased its followers on TikTok to almost 400k followers. More than any other social channel that they are present on. Ula then goes on to talk about why TikTok has been such a huge success for BRC. Starting with a well thought out strategy, paired with incredible timing and celebrity collaboration, this delivered authentic and engaging content that drove incredible results. Only joining the platform in 2019, they have spent time researching and understood what the platform did first. They studied what was trending, what people liked, tested activity, and really got used to the platform, resulting in 100% growth in H1 2020.
Natasha Rosenthall – Michael McInytre/Trussell Trust
Natasha Rosenthall, Senior Producer at DTV delivered the next #IWITOT based around The Trussell Trust and a collaboration with the UK’s much loved comedian Michael McIntyre. The campaign itself was quite simple. Make a donation to The Trussell Trust and Michael will video call you! What a great incentive hey? The campaign started at the perfect time, February. Just as the UK was about to go into national lockdown when everyone was confined to their homes and needed spirits lifting. It also felt hugely authentic as the campaign seemed to have been set up and run by Michael himself. The campaign started off with a playful intro from Michael introducing himself to the stage and reminding the audience when putting their hands together, to wash them for at least 20 seconds. Michael then went on to empathise with the national situation surrounding us all being stuck at home and he wanted to not only speak to as many of us as possible but raise money whilst doing it. This resulted in a campaign income of £58,629 from just 2,100 donors, and at a cost of absolutely nothing, zero, zilch, made this campaign a win for everybody. All donations were followed up with a thank you note, personal video from Michael and further information around The Trussell Trust and the amazing work that they do.
Nisha Motwani – Il Mikiage
Our penultimate speaker was Nisha Motwani, Head of Customer Experience at The Financial Ombudsman. Nisha’s #IWITOT was based all around her own personal experience using an online makeup brand Il Makiage. These guys have been all over social media, in particular this year and are constantly sharing their unique content, as well as impressive testimonials from very happy customers. What sparked Nisha’s interest though was that this was an online makeup brand and that they were boating “They would find the perfect products for you”, just by answering an online quiz. To say this about a product so individual and personal as makeup, this is a big statement and one that got Nisha’s attention. Not to mention the no quibble, full refund promise. Not to Nisha’s surprise, after making her initial purchase after filling out the online quiz, the product didn’t quite match her expectation so Nisha started to look into how the product could be returned. This is where it got interesting. Nisha received an immediate response from a customer service rep apologising for the fact they had got it wrong, and for the opportunity to try again. Despite going through this process three times and still no match, Nisha was told she could keep all the makeup she had already received and got a full refund for the product and postage and even a £15 voucher, no quibbles. Due to the personal service and flexible approach from Il Makiage, Nisha provided regular reviews of their products which was rewarded with a £15 voucher each time. The same client services rep also checked in with Nisha every now and then to make sure she was happy with the products, and also just how she was in general which provided a real personal touch and something that keeps Nisha as an ongoing customer and advocate for their brand.
Bethany Smith – Boaz friendship bracelets
The final speaker of the day was Bethany Smith, Donor Development Coordinator at MS Queensland in Australia. Bethany’s supporter journey all started when she attended a fundraising conference where she caught up with former colleagues from a former agency. The agency MD is a co-founder of Oasis and he used the opportunity to engage with potential clients by asking them to braid friendship bracelets in conference breaks to send off to their beneficiaries in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi. Bethany chose her colours and away she went, chatting to friends as she put her bracelet together. Months later, Bethany received a hyper-personalised that “melted her heart” as she found out her friendship bracelet had reached Nairobi in Kenya. The communication included pictures of Boaz, a student who is sponsored by Oasis. The picture clearly showed Boaz wearing Bethany’s bracelet and it was also clear to see how positive an impact it had. Not only did Bethany create and share this initial gift, but she then went on to sponsor another student and was very much a case of “please take my money” as she was so emotionally invested in the students and the powerful symbol of friendship created through Oasis Africa Australia. After signing up, Bethany received “an absolute donor lovebomb” from her sponsored student Wykliff. It was filled with pictures and information about Wykliff, future goals of being an agricultural engineer so he could provide food security for his people in hunger-stricken areas of Kenya. This was Bethany’s #IWITOT and her take away was “Love your donors, they are your most important people”.