Supporter Engagement: Audience (strategic)

Tools and techniques that tell you more your supporters

The Challenges

Who are my

How are they

Who are my most
valuable supporters?

Demographics — Profiles

A starting point to understand your supporters can come from the data you already hold on your database – this may include gender, age, location or other information.

Basic mapping and name profiling can quickly reveal information about who your supporters might be. A next simple step is to use their postcode information to do some basic demographic profiling – we use SONAR which classifies the UK into segments based on Census and other information and also gives a great overview on the wealth and lifestage of your supporters. Breaking these down by different supporter types based on recruitment or products can also be very revealing. We can also help overlay a multitude of other datasets covering lifestyles, interests and attitudes.

With these valuable insights at your disposal, you can make informed decisions and tailor your strategies to effectively engage and serve your supporter base.


A mapping project helps fundraising organizations understand their audience better through a number of different outcomes. In getting a more thorough understanding of the distribution of supporters it can help to identify areas to target in order to contact potential new donors.

The information can be used along with behavioural activity and demographic profiling to tailor messaging and fundraising strategies to specific segments. As well as personalising communications and products to improve the overall response rates.

By gaining these insights, fundraising organizations can enhance their fundraising strategies, build stronger relationships with supporters, and achieve their goals more effectively.

Filesize Analysis

Understanding the size and movement in your database can be a great starting point to thinking about your different audiences. A simple break down of your file by active status can reveal large amounts about your programme. We also highly recommend reviewing the trends In your file size but looking at new donors and lapsed donors, at both an overall and a product level, to understand how it is changing.

By gaining these insights, you can optimise your program, refine your targeting, and effectively adapt your strategies to achieve better results.

Crossover Analysis

Looking at the level of crossover on your file can also be revealing and a first step towards segmentation and engagement scoring. How many supporters engage in more than one way and what are the most common combinations? In gaining a better understanding of this, the learnings can be applied to scale up the crossover opportunities and work towards deepening the engagement of supporters through multiple products and channels.

The findings from the crossover analysis provide actionable insights that can inform your approach to targeting and messaging. By tailoring your communication efforts based on the identified combinations of supporter engagement, you can effectively optimize your outreach and enhance the overall impact of your campaigns.


A good segmentation will help you understand more about the behaviour, demographics, attitudes or motivations of your supporters and optimise your stewardship of different audiences. What type of segmentation will depend on your overall aims and in our experience no single segmentation will answer all your questions, but we can help you develop segmentations for appropriate uses or source the data needed to provide the extra layers that you need. For example, a behavioural segmentation will help you understand who best to target with specific offers, or where your opportunities for cross sell are, whilst a motivational segmentation will tell you more about why people support your charity and help you develop targeted messaging for different groups.

Break down your supporters into robust and actionable segments to optimise engagement. Through a deeper understanding of different groups you can plan strategies and activities to provide a more personalised experience.

Engagement Scoring

At Sequoia we believe that supporter engagement is key in the fundraising strategy and we have developed our proprietary Engagement Score based on three key dimensions: Depth (how frequently a supporter engages – through financial donations or other actions);Durations (how long they have been supporting) and Diversity (how many different touchpoints they have with the charity).

Combining this with Lifetime Value analysis and assessing engagement scores across your database, and breaking them down across different segments of supporters (by product, recruitment channel or demographics), will enable you to better understand who your most engaged supporters are.

Score and rank the engagement of different supporter groups to see where your programme is being most successful and identify any potential for improvement.

Lifetime Value

Understanding how lifetime value of supporters differs depending on how they are recruited can help you make informed decisions on where to make future investments.  Lifetime value not only looks at a supporters initial gift to your charity but also what they go on to do in subsequent years and will also include any income as a result of cross-sell activities, upgrades, reactivations etc.

By conducting this lifetime value analysis, you will be able to identify the most effective recruitment channels and strategies that yield supporters with higher long-term value. Armed with this knowledge, you can allocate your resources strategically, focusing on the channels and activities that have proven to generate supporters who contribute significantly to your organization’s mission over the long run.

Audience Sizing

It is also important to take a holistic look at your audiences and the wider market to see who your most valuable audience segments are and if you are maximising your engagement of these audiences. Using an existing UK segmentation such as SONAR, MOSAIC or ACORN we will examine each segment across key performance indicators such as lifetime value, product take up and channel responsiveness. From this we will help you evaluate the current performance level and potential opportunity within each audience to define your priority audiences.

The outputs of this project will identify your key audiences to drive targeting of recruitment and retention activities. You will know which audiences are engaging with which products and where you have potential for increasing reach and / or engagement.