NSPCC commits to stewardship with first agency account

Children’s charity NSPCC is committing itself to donor stewardship by creating a dedicated department of stewardship, and appointing full service direct marketing agency Cascaid to support its stewardship work. NSPCC say this is the UK charity sector’s first stewardship account.

NSPCC has created a Directorate of Stewardship, Innovation and Supporter Experience, headed by Development Director, Fidelma Hatton. The team will receive strategic support and creative resources from Cascaid, which won this new type of account following a four way agency pitch.

Cascaid will also work with the charity in developing models to measure the financial impact of enhanced stewardship over the medium and long term.

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NSPCC has a long track record of seeking to offer innovative and effective supporter care. Its new programme, however, aims take supporter care to new levels, to “proactive supporter stewardship, developing personal service and adding value to the donor experience”.

The new stewardship programme has been designed following staff and stakeholder consultation and with support from US-based stewardship expert Karen Osborne.

She acknowledges that most charities have donor care programmes in that they send out newsletters and have a donor-centred approach, but she argues this does not constitute “stewardship”. She believes that stewardship is more than building relationships and goes beyond communication: it is showing the donor the impact of their gift, and demonstrating that when you make a philanthropic investment something powerful happens.

Stewardship in practice has to be creative: it cannot be the same all the time, but must surprise, excite, inspire and motivate. It must offer supporters a personalised relationship because they want to feel like they belong.

Alan Clayton, Managing Director of the Cascaid Group said: “It is a rare treat to be allowed to be the first to work on something entirely new. It is typical of the NSPCC to take the plunge and lead the market in professionalising and developing stewardship.

“We, like the NSPCC, have long believed in the value of great stewardship and it is truly exciting to be able to put the theory into practice on a large, structured scale. Being briefed to communicate the NSPCC’s care and work for children directly back to its supporters is simply inspiring.”

He added: “Today’s learning and knowledge combined with technology – particularly how we can store and use data to treat people like individuals, to work out what they want and then to deliver what they want – means that it is now possible to deploy a stewardship programme in such an advanced fashion as NSPCC are planning in a manageable and a cost effective way. “

Fidelma Hatton said: “We are convinced that [Cascaid] will provide the challenge and support we need to ensure our supporters have a fantastic experience of supporting the NSPCC.”