Making the Dons Trust more visible and better understood, particularly among younger supporters, is a key priority for the Dons Trust Board. Charles Williams explains what’s been done so far and some of the planned next steps.
For many of us, being owners of our club, through the Dons Trust, is hugely important – and one of AFC Wimbledon’s defining characteristics. However, last year’s membership survey highlighted that younger supporters are less likely to know what the Dons Trust is and does.
“younger supporters will be the future custodians of the Trust and club”
Of under-30s who responded to the survey and were not Dons Trust members already, 28% said they were not familiar with what the Trust is or does, compared to 14% of over-30s. Clearly, we need to take some steps to raise awareness and understanding of the Trust’s role, given that younger supporters will be the future custodians of the Trust and club.
One way you may have noticed us starting to do this is by introducing a new Dons Trust logo, which was approved by members at a meeting towards the end of last season. The point of the new logo is to make it clearer at a glance that the Trust are the owners of AFC Wimbledon and that we’re all part of the same family.
You may already have seen it in places including the new Golden Goals scratch cards and the sellers’ jackets – and on this page!
You may also have noticed that we’ve introduced some new signage on the Dons Trust kiosk here at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. Not only do we think it makes the kiosk stand out more, it also states more clearly that it’s there so that people can see more clearly where you can go to join the Trust, speak to your elected Board members on a match day, and raise any concerns or issues you may have.
We’ll be looking at creating some new leaflets for the kiosk and elsewhere, giving more information on the Trust for people who are interested in joining.
Branding can’t solve any issue around lack of awareness by itself, of course, but hopefully you’ll feel it’s a step in the right direction. Many thanks to Karen Ay for all her hard work on the kiosk designs and to Marc Jones for his work on the logo.
The next thing we’ll be tackling is relaunching the Dons Trust website. We’ve already recently made some improvements to this, such as simplifying the menu options. But we want to make some more significant changes in the next few months, including:
- Making the site easier to use on mobile phones and tablets. About 40% of visitors use mobile devices to access the site, many of whom are likely to be younger supporters, and currently they’re not getting a great experience.
- Improving the online sign-up process so it’s easier to join the Trust through the website.
- Updating and revising the content on the site, focusing on what our analytics data shows most people use it for: joining the Trust or renewing membership; finding meeting dates, papers and reports; and finding information about the Dons Trust Board and how to contact them.
- And we’ll also be making some changes to the way the website is hosted that means it will be easier for us to improve the site further in the future.
Further down the line, we’d like to communicate more often with members with updates from the Trust through email, so will be looking to create a regular email newsletter with the latest information and news from the Dons Trust Board.
We’d be delighted to hear any ideas or suggestions from supporters about any of these areas. If you’d like to give your thoughts, or can offer any of your skills and time to help out, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org