Theme of both evenings:
Correspondence with your sponsor child: current situation & future possibilities
Our goals of the evenings were to gain more in-depth insight in
- the sponsor’s need regarding the correspondence with/from their sponsor child
- the sponsor’s experience the current way of correspondenc
- the need of digitizing the correspondence to / from their sponsor child
- the experience of sponsors regarding the service of Woord en Daad
We invited a small group of sponsors to be able to have more quality time for discussions. Both evenings 15 – 20 sponsors were present in different age groups. We defined 3 age groups (young 18-35; middle aged 35 – 60; older people 60+), since we were curious to know what the differences were between those 3 age groups in experience, ideas and needs.
Plan of action
- We had 16 statements about the sponsorship program. We asked them to answer those statements with ‘I agree’ or ‘I don’t agree’.For example we asked them to answer this statement: ‘For me, an important condition to sponsor a child, is to have active correspondence with my sponsor child.The results was: 20 people agreed with this statement & 8 people didn’t agree
- Since the beginning of this year, the marketing team of Woord en Daad looked at the way how Woord en Daad stays in contact with their sponsors. FYI: besides the letter, photo or progress report of the sponsor child, the sponsor is informed about specific situations in the country of their sponsor child (like natural disasters or unrest in a part of the country) or just general information about the sponsorship program in their sponsor child’s country (like info about how a day of a sponsor child could look like).We made some changes in our current way of informing the sponsor and during the evening we asked them their opinion about the changes and the need for receiving general information.
- We shared a video with the experiences and ideas of some of our partners. In case you’d like to take a look, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/gN87zabywLc Partly it’s in Dutch, but you’ll understand =).
- The last 45 minutes of the evening, the group of sponsors was divided into 3 different groups and we asked them to discuss with each other and give Woord en Daad 5 practical recommendations about improvement of the correspondence from/to their sponsor child, about digitizing the correspondence and how we can improve our service to sponsors.
A brief overview of the compliments, tips and suggestions we received
- The sponsors noticed big improvements in the correspondence, like the layout of the letters are more attractive.
- Sponsors appreciate the e-mails about context information of the country.
- Some of the sponsors recently received a photo of their sponsor child with the mail / gift from the sponsor on it. For them it was the first time, and they were really surprised (in a positive way).
- They appreciate the possibilities we give them to send a letter/card/gift to the sponsor child (we have an online tool for this).
Tips & suggestions
- More practical suggestions for sponsors what they could write about to their sponsor child.
- More information about the living world of the child, like information about the school etc.
- Video’s about child / class / school / family.
- Digital way of having contact with sponsor child is preferred. Suggestions were made to have an app on your phone in which all kind of information is shared and via which you can easily send / receive a message to / from their sponsor child
- Sending a confirmation once the child received the mail from sponsors
- Celebrate milestones in the sponsoring of a child
- Send Christmas letters to sponsors before it’s actual Christmas.
The main feedback we received is about the content of the letters of children. Most of the sponsors who were present experienced the letters as being general. The sponsors who were present during both evening all send mail to their sponsor child and a large number of them didn’t receive a confirmation neither did the child write about receiving mail from them.
This is a known “issue” and we are aware of the challenges for you (as partner organizations) to face this.
Plan of action 2019 & future
We are working out a practical plan of action on how we can implement quick changes to improve the engagement of sponsors to their sponsor child this year. You’ll be informed about that later on this year.
Furthermore we’ll think about our strategy on how the sponsorship program & the requirements of it, can be future proof and what’s needed for that.