Canal & River Trust - Friends Waterfront magazine and emails. Man walking along a riverbank while on a pisturesque winter morning while looking at a group of moored boats.

Making life better by water

Engagement levels with the magazine and emails continue to be high

Donor stewardship programme

Cherry Tiger were delighted to be asked to review the supporter experience of the Canal & River Trust’s most committed supporters. Friends of the Trust give a regular gift, and in return they receive a number of benefits including a twice-yearly magazine and two e-newsletters per month.

We were challenged with making the magazine more cost effective and ensure that both the print and digital communications were more reflective of the Trust’s work.

Cherry Tiger write and design each issue of the magazine. We initially undertook a major redesign of the template, bringing it much more in line with the Canal & River Trust brand.

However, just as importantly, we reviewed a lot of the content. Whilst ensuring the articles still engaged Friends and reflected their interests, we have also developed more focus on demonstrating the impact of each and every Friend’s support. Whether that’s protecting the network’s 200-year old heritage, transforming more canal spaces in our cities, helping wildlife to thrive or sharing stories about wellbeing by water, we share how the Canal & River Trust help make life better by water for everyone. This just couldn’t happen without the loyal support of Friends.

As a result of the redesign, a more cost-effective format for the magazine was introduced. In the first year, we used the savings to produce and send a calendar to all Friends as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their amazing support.

In producing two e-newsletters per month – each containing three pieces of new and original content, with the help of the Trust’s Supporter Care team, Cherry Tiger have committed time and effort to really getting under the skin of this huge and fascinating organisation. We do our own research, interviewing teams on the ground, end-beneficiaries, and (pandemic restrictions aside) attend events and visit programmes. We work closely with the Trust’s own fantastic content team, sharing ideas and planning ahead for the future.

Engagement levels with the magazine and emails continue to be high. As a result of our in-depth knowledge we have also produced a series of podcasts for the Trust, which both aim to provide deeper content for existing supporters and engage new audiences.

The team at Cherry Tiger have been a joy to work with. Always organised and responsive, they very quickly understood the complexities of the Canal & River Trust and the various motivations of its Friends. The value added has been enormous, and not limited to our stewardship programme.

William Coffin, Supporter Engagement & Legacy Manager, Canal & River Trust

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