Covid-19 has hit charities hard, with a £10bn funding shortfall reported at the end of 2020. Events and face-to-face giving opportunities were all but wiped out for most of 2020 and the early part of 2021, and that meant that online giving was the only revenue stream available for most charities. Personal giving during lockdown, however, actually remained fairly static with 28% of respondents to a Charities Aid Foundation poll reporting they had given to charity in August 2020. That’s roughly on a par with previous years. The real issue has been the decrease in sponsorship revenue, with only 5% of respondents having sponsored someone during August 2020, approximately half the number from previous years.
One positive to take away from all of this, is that the desire to give was there, even if the means to do so was restricted.
Another surprising stat is that far from a contraction in the number of charities active in the UK, 2020-2021 actually saw a 1% rise in the number of charities registered in England and Wales. While that may be good news for the sector, that still means that with fewer giving methods available, competition in the sector has actually increased.
So with giving opportunities still restricted and charities receiving an increased percentage of their donations online, how can charities who have perhaps relied more heavily on face-to-face and sponsorship revenue, begin to compete with more online-savvy charities? Here are five steps to getting your charity ready for the brave new world of digital giving:
1) Use data for personalisation
Organising your supporters’ data effectively means you can create bespoke messaging for different audience segments, allowing you to create messages that are as personalised as you like, even down to personalised messages for individual givers. Many data storage solutions promise a lot, but don’t deliver the flexibility you need to store data across the growing number of platforms available today. Our Mobile Marketing Cloud includes a Customer Data Platform, or CDP, that gives you access to data from a wide variety of sources. This allows you to take everything you know about a supporter, across multiple platforms, and create a true 360 view of their behaviour, making marketing to them much, much easier.
You might want to read more about CDPs and the differences between data platforms to help guide your decision-making process.
2) Contact supporters on their favourite channels
Find out which channels your supporters like to use to communicate and make sure you’re using those channels to get in touch with them. People don’t like to be spammed on multiple channels and you’re likely to be ignored if your supporter spends all their time communicating on one channel and you reach out on another.
With the data you hold within your CDP, make sure you’ve segmented your audiences correctly by platform to maximise your chances of conversion.
3) Make mobile payments simple
Flexible communication is one thing, but you’ll need to ensure that you have your supporters’ favourite payment methods to hand as well, to avoid losing valuable impulse conversion. Our payment solution offers support for Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Maestro, American Express, Klarna and many others.
Making sure people can donate seamlessly will ensure you’re maximising the ROI of your other marketing efforts.
4) Run effective multi-channel campaigns
Our Mobile Marketing Cloud allows you to run multi-message, multi-channel campaigns from one, easy-to-use dashboard, removing the headache of managing multiple channels on native platforms and processing the results from multiple analytics packages.
You can integrate Mobile Marketing Cloud with social advertising networks to add your segments to your social media advertising, automating the process of creating individual audiences for different campaigns and messages.
5) Use innovative digital fundraising methods
Many charities successfully use celebrities to endorse their work. Attaching a reputable name to your organisation brings reputational advantages for your charity and can encourage existing supporters to give more and can also help to recruit new supporters. Using innovative approaches to securing donations will help you cut through the noise and convert. One example is voice. Recording a voice message that can be sent directly to supporters’ and potential supporters’ mobile phones from a celebrity benefactor, for example, will give your message more cut-through than if it were delivered via traditional channels.
It’s a challenging environment for charities in the UK. While things are returning to normal, the landscape has been changed forever. If you’re lacking a comprehensive, cohesive online strategy to generate giving, this is a great opportunity to create one. CM.com offers a 360, end-to-end solution for charities looking to pivot their fundraising efforts online, or just increase their visibility in the face of mounting competition. Get in touch today for a demo.