Keeping patrons and members engaged during lockdown – online panel
On Friday 3 April I hosted a webinar on Keeping Members Engaged During Lockdown, with Kate Mrockowski from Supercool, Tom Petzal, a fundraising consultant, and Christine Wardle of Turner’s House, Chaired by Andrew Parsons of Professional Advantage.
This was the first in the series on Keeping Patrons and Members Engaged, you can view the next event here.
Kate Mroczkowski: practical tips
Kate spoke about the challenge of keeping patrons and members engaged during lockdown. Including request to refund tickets, and that smaller organisations are somehow more agile than larger ones and can let ticket-buyers choose to have a refund or donate money back.
Kate also spoke about the love we have for the arts & cultural organisations we support. Obviously massive shift to online resources, everyone focused on getting collections online – streaming & online experiences. Kate mentioned culturefix.digital/ as a great source of online content. The Royal Northern College of Music is doing student concerts via Facebook live and other organisations being able to reach >200k audiences through digital. Kate spoke of the importance of planning and keeping in touch, and reflection on purpose to continue & be useful to members & patrons in these interesting times.
Christine Wardle: sensitive leadership
Christine discussed how keeping patrons and members engaged during lockdown was s shift. The manner in which organisations deal with the Covid-19 crisis will be the way in which they are remembered afterwards, and how the crisis has triggered ‘survival mode’ in people. So when arts & culture often sits at the top of the needs pyramid the challenge to engage in a sensitive way is real.
Christine mentioned that organisations such as CancerCare delivering their service to beneficiaries online, for example counselling is now delivered online. Christine raised the issue of psychological belonging – and keeping in touch to remain in the front of people’s minds, perhaps moving away from activities and campaigns to making your organisational purpose and content relevant to Patrons and the current circumstances. Thoughtful fundraisers agile organisations will have a place in the new future.
Tom Petzal: change or die
Tom spoke of this being a game-changer with new winners and new losers, and a revolution in the charity sector as people are disenfranchised with huge charities, a new stream of people who want to help suffering and an inbuilt desire to assist. Keeping patrons and members engaged during lockdown is a big education. Legacy organisations need to be very aware of the new kids on the block, we cannot rest on our laurels & we must play the game all the way, remain creative & inventive, and come up with new ways. Tom referred to online streaming & the wonderful effect on the public. Trustees & corporate supporters have had time to ponder new directions. The more institutionalised orgs will find it more difficult. Faster moving, corporate style driven by new people. Smaller, flexible organisations, more tightly driven will be ahead at the beginning. Distinguished and august organisations need to keep up. Tom mentioned the high quality of trustees in the UK but warned against institutionalised thinking and resting on laurels, because distinguished & august organisations will need to keep up. Tom discussed the importance of re-recruiting, expanding Boards towards more dynamic, more strategic, more business-wise thinking because the new corporate kids are going to run.
Vanessa Dal Busco: digital ‘revolution’
I spoke of the massive re-evaluation because of so much professional and personal uncertainty, and finding new tools and messages to resonate with patrons and members, how our ways of working have changed and how our audience is adjusting to new ways of engaging. Organisations that were able to segment data and find segments of their members, quickly, started off infront but conversely, weak systems and data were exposed when everything became digital.
I pondered What does good look like – considering Stewardship & leadership into the recovery phase, and thought it probably means hitting the ground running with patrons and members ready to continue their engagement post-lockdown.
I spoke about finding the right tools and identifying the best topics to lead on & prioritising messages – how listening to comments / feedback / conversations can give you a good understanding of what’s concerning your patrons and members at any point.
Tracking engagement is more important now than ever, as we try to understand our audiences more completely, so we can serve them better.
I think we’re all learning from each other, but the biggest change will be event-based marketing, creating a journey around an event – comms, message, promos, discounts, something to look forward to, will be the new normal post Covid-19.
You can view the recording here
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