Hello. My name’s Richard. I’m 42, and I collect football stickers.
There, I said it.
Yes, I know that’s a little odd. Yes, I know I’m fair bit older than the majority of the target market. Yes, I know that I have nobody to swap with these days because not many of my friends also collect stickers. Yes, I know that it doesn’t make sense to buy a packet of stickers without knowing whether I need the contents. And yes, I also know that I don’t need them as such, in the strictest sense of the word.
So why do I do it? And what relevance does this have to this blog about the charity sector? Read on, and I’ll tell you.
Build a sense of anticipation. I only collect stickers in the run-up to major tournaments – World Cups and European Championships, rather than for the domestic teams. For me it’s part of the build up, the mounting excitement. How do you build anticipation in the minds of your charity’s supporters? Can you paint your own version of the ‘Road to Brazil’?
- Remember that each supporter is different. Why did I reveal this slightly odd hobby? To illustrate that nobody is exactly who you think they are. Don’t generalise. Don’t tailor to a common denominator.
- Harness the power of shared experience. I like the fact that people around the world are all getting excited and collecting too. They’ll all be watching the same matches, but supporting different teams. How can you harness that sense of togetherness in supporters of your charity? If you want to see it done well, head to a big Marathon and check out the charity supporters.
- Make your supporters feel part of a project. The Brazil 2014 album is my current project, but I’m not alone. I know someone who is currently trying to buy the programme for every major final his team has ever appeared in. Can you make your supporter feel part of something distinct? Can you feed their connection and get them addicted to the buzz of knowing what they’ve helped you to achieve?
- Learn what drives your supporters’ passion. When I was a kid, I used to go to the shop to buy stickers with my big brother. We spent hundreds of happy hours together poring over our collection. Deep down, I’m sure it’s a reason why I buy stickers now. In fact, he quite often buys me the albums to get started, so maybe it’s a shared thing. And supporters are likely to have similarly deep-seated reasons for their interest in your charity. Get to the bottom of it, understand them, and you’ll get closer to building a longer-term relationship.
So now you know why charity supporters are just a little bit like football sticker collectors.
I hope this blog will help you complete your set.
Richard Sved is Director, 3rd Sector Mission Control, and a charity sector professional.
This article is republished with permission.
Get free email updates
Keep up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy]