Bringing your best-laid supporter journeys to life - easier said than done?

Wednesday 30th November 2022

Row of four women holding on to each other

How people and technology are the key to overcoming the disconnect between journey design, data & deployment and delivering a great supporter experience (SX). 

If you work in fundraising, you’ll know that creating great communication experiences for your supporters is key for engagement and growth. Most leading charities have at least one long-standing objective to deepen engagement, but progress on activating the right journeys has been notoriously slow and very few organisations would claim they’ve cracked it.

So, what are the barriers? Why is it so hard to bring to life journeys that truly integrate into a supporter’s world and meet their needs? More importantly, how can we smash through those barriers to create experiences that are not only good for supporters, but transformational for organisational outcomes too?

Laying the groundwork  

Although it’s easy to focus on the digital & IT transformation gap, there’s some groundwork that’s needed to give teams the authority and the building blocks to do the important work that is truly thoughtful supporter-led journey design. 

The good news is that many organisations already have much of this in place. 

  • Strategic framework. Typically, 5 years plans are agreed, with clear objectives about deepening connection with supporters to drive loyalty and value.
  • Audience insight. Many have identified primary audience personas so they can understand needs through detailed empathy mapping.
  • Brand. Many have clear brand identities bedded in, providing personality hooks to connect with audience needs.
  • Product positioning. Charities are building out product sets that provide the features, benefits, and emotional connection for audiences.

Bridging the gap between design and deployment

So, if that’s the case, what’s missing? Why don’t more organisations have this all sewn up?

Often the answer lies in a disconnect between the journey design and the data and technology considerations that are so essential, when it comes to making best-laid journey plans happen in the real world. 

It’s a true cliché that many journey plans, so thoughtfully mapped out, end their days as redundant (very dusty) scrolls at the back of a cupboard with the journeys themselves never seeing the light of day. This situation is more common than you might think. 

For others, compromise is the reality, when system limitations result in an SX that falls well short of the ambition and fails to deliver on key objectives.  

So, how can fundraisers avoid these deployment headaches and practically deliver at pace the kind of experiences that will drive engagement, value and lifelong support? 

If you do one thing, do this.

Closing the gap between aspiration and what’s possible could be one of the most useful and rewarding changes you make to your planning process. 

Colleagues from Insight, Data, IT/ Digital and Supporter Care are crucial stakeholders and so should be involved from the outset. Because it’s only by working together around shared audience goals that teams can really optimise data and deployment technology, understand what’s possible with the tech and tools available and make it happen when the time comes. 

At Signal we use Value Centred Design principles to ensure our clients best-laid journey plans can live in the real world. Our powerful blend of consulting, insight, behavioural science and leading CX technology helps cross-functional teams work together to create a connected supporter experience that drives loyalty and value. 


Every journey begins with a single step

Get in touch if you’d like to speak to one of our team about actionable journey design, or how Signal’s CX HUB could help you make your supporter experience ambition a reality. 

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