Institute of Fundraising’s Annual Insights Conference

In November, Prescient gave a joint presentation with charity CLIC Sargent to the annual Institute of Fundraising’s Insight conference in London. CLIC Sargent fights for children and young people with cancer, and their families, to limit the damage it does beyond their health. Prescient was commissioned by CLIC Sargent to conduct an audience segmentation programme in 2017/18, designed to inform better engagement with supporters.

Our presentation focused on sharing insights and advice to other charities, looking to conduct similar segmentation research programmes. We highlighted key elements that contribute to delivering a successful programme, and drew attention to the pitfalls to avoid.

We took the audience through the journey of segmentation research, from the perspective of a client team, contemplating research, through to response by Prescient, our insights programme, segmentation development and implementation. Prescient explored the tender process, the rationale for our tailored research and shared practical advice on how to develop personas, devise golden questions and apply algorithms to supporter databases.

Two key themes of our presentation were engagement (internal and external audiences; across short and long term), and practicalities of implantation segmentation programmes.

Both engagement and practical considerations are key from the outset. It’s not just about supporter engagement either – it’s essential to include and empower internal teams, to ensure there is a shared vision and benefits to all. People within the organisation are also best placed to explain how they will be practically able to apply findings from research. Managing expectations successfully hinges on ensuring that everyone is clear and comfortable about what can and cannot be achieved from an organisational perspective.

A final word of advice shared was that segmentation findings can’t just stop in a moment of time and stagnate. To stay relevant, they need to take account of changing culture and landscapes, politically, economically and socially. This means that a successful segmentation model is one that can be regularly revisited, through continuing convesrations with real people representing each segment identified. Ultimately a segmentation proposition needs to have a strong core, but also an ability to flex its muscles to accommodate change.