Why You Must Recognize the Consideration Continuum

You must recognize that most of your supporters will never stop considering whether to give to you.
Recently, as we working together on a client project, my pal Phyllis Freedman gave this truth a neat little title. She called it “the consideration continuum”.

I think she was referring to the fact that:

  • Your supporters can be flat-out fickle
  • Your supporters’ needs and desires will change over time
  • Major life events will affect your supporters’ choices and decisions
  • Your competition (and you better believe that you are competing for “share of wallet”) will never give up
  • The way you treat your supporters effects whether or not your organization will get more gifts and/or continue to remain in their will (or get less gifts and/or get kicked out of their estate plan)

This consideration continuum never stops. So, neither can you. And, neither can your organization.
You have to keep delivering value to your supporters. You have to keep delivering messages to them that are worthwhile, inspirational, and effective. You have to continue to engage them in meaningful ways.

You can’t stop being awesome because, the consideration continuum for each of your supporters will never end.

Thanks Phyllis. Always wise and always brilliant!



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9 years ago

This is so true. I am so glad someone gave it acknowledgement. The best fundraising keeps this as a regular practice.

9 years ago

Is there a corollary to this? Any suggestions for how to get a charity to recognize that the donor has moved on? I mean, in addition to writing them, telling them that I’ve found another charity that matches more closely what I want to support, and asking them to take me off their mailing list? (Hate to see them continuing to waste their resources and the planet’s on mailings that aren’t going to get them anything.)

9 years ago
Reply to  Sheila

Hi Sheila. Thanks for your comment/question.
That’s pretty much in line with what MarketSmart’s software does. It measures donor/supporter engagement online (real-time) and progressively profiles their level of passion/interest with a scoring algorithm. By doing so, you/your organization only needs to reach out to those who are most engaged (along with those who are wealthiest, oldest, have no children, etc.).
Sometimes, when organizations generate too many leads at one time (which is also what we do), they need to qualify them to determine who they should contact now/first. Using our system they can reach out to the right people at the right time so the likelihood of closing a gift increases exponentially while the likelihood of bothering uninterested supporters decreases exponentially too.
Hope that makes sense. I think Lizzie is scheduled to follow-up with you about this in a couple of months or so as you get through the leads you generated from telemarketing.


[…] Fundraisers, as well as their organization’s leadership and board members, need to come to terms with the fact that donors make decisions based on their timing, needs, wants, desires, and interests, not your organization’s. The next step is retooling all marketing efforts to provide engagement offers that will appeal to each supporter in a way that’s meaningful to them based on where they are in the consideration continuum. […]

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