With the widespread use of charity fundraising platforms such as JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving we have all become much more used to digital fundraising. These sites are easy to use, deal with collating the gift aid information and make it easy and efficient for both the individual to raise money and the charity to receive both the donation and the gift aid information. Having said that, these platforms do come at a cost to the charity in both membership and transaction fees.
The majority of gifts to charities are still made in cash, 55% in 2018, but this is getting less each year. Smartphones are now the most popular device for on-line activity and if a charity wants to maximise its fundraising potential it must ensure that its website gives the right experience when engaging with mobile devices. Most major UK charities have redesigned their websites to be mobile friendly and charities of all sizes are coming to understand that a mobile friendly website is no longer an optional extra but a necessity.
There has been a further significant change in payment technology in the UK with contactless payments and other mobile payment technology such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. When out shopping and making smaller payments contactless is rapidly becoming the preferred choice. In order to keep up charities need to be embracing this technology.
Some of the UK’s major charities, such as, NSPCC, Barnados, RNIB and the Royal British Legion have all trialled contactless donations. Lightweight, portable payment boxes have been used at special events and placed next to checkouts at charity shops. Contactless card machines are now easy and cheap to obtain and could be used at events, in retail shops and out in the street, some even have the ability to claim gift aid.
Whilst it is important to ensure the overall communication plan of a charity is clear it is also important to ensure that all forms of fundraising are considered. Only a very small amount of fundraising is currently done by Crowdfunding. However, there is significant potential to fund projects with a social cause and it is expected that this will be a big growth area of fundraising in 2019.
Overall the charity sector still struggles with digital technologies and tends to be restricted by a lack of skills and confidence, particularly at the smaller end, although hopefully this will start to change over the coming years.
The fundraising regulator undertook a consultation on the Fundraising Code from 10 September 2018 until 16 November 2018. The current code can be found here and the new code is expected to released shortly.
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