The image of people standing around street corners shaking buckets and cans at unsuspecting passers by is in a bid to raise much needed funds for charity is becoming increasingly rare. Not because there is less hunger for giving to charity – understandable for a cost of living crisis, but because fundraising has moved into the online world, where it is has a much wider reach, and greater sense of immediacy.
It is also so much more competitive. So your message has to be loud and clear to cut through the mass of noise and reach those who will be empathetic to your cause – empathetic enough to put their hand in their pocket.
A growing proliferation of giving platforms
From ‘donate’ buttons on social media, to entire platforms created with the sole purpose of collecting donations, the world of giving is becoming increasingly digitalised. Additionally, with cash becoming more and more scarce – even those last few coins in the bottom of someone’s pocket of handbag are rapidly disappearing as phone and card payments become the norm for even the smallest of purchases.
As a result, those charities that used to rely on the small change, the coppers that could add to a significant amount, are having to completely reassess the way in which they generate income.
Charities are having to become increasingly more sophisticated and learn about digital marketing techniques and behavioural psychology when it comes to pressing that ‘donate now’ button on a Qurbani campaign for example, in the same way as millions are clicking on the ‘purchase now’ button for the latest weight loss fad.
Reaching a global audience
The power and reach of the internet and specifically social media has more than proved itself over the last few years. While many charities may be locally based, this does not exclude them from reaching out to much wider audiences if the story is strong enough.
And it is the story that needs the most work – while the passion and dedication of those who are working within the charity may be laudable, if the story does not grab attention and touch emotions, then potential donors will soon scroll past and focus their time and money on another cause.
Once you have grabbed someone’s attention, you then need to make it as easy and failsafe as possible for that person to give their money to you. Every single ‘obstruction’ that comes their way is an opportunity for that person to think again, get distracted, and abandon making the payment once and for all.
In the past, as well as putting money in a tin, a serious donation would require someone to sit down, get out their cheque book, write the cheque, put it in an envelope and then go out to the post office to buy a stamp.
Today, everything is done with a simple tap or click. If someone is using their phone, their card details are even pre-loaded, so they don’t even have to get out their card and enter the numbers. It literally takes seconds.
What this means most importantly, is there is minimal opportunity for someone to get annoyed, impatient, and therefore change their mind. Or even run out of time and abandon the process because they have to go off and do something else.
Increasing different options for payments – for example, adding a button which is specifically for setting up a regular subscription payment, also makes the entire process much easier for both the donor and the charity. With the simple click of a button, the donor can rest assured that they are making a regular commitment to a charity of their choice. The charity has the benefit of a regular source of income.
Technology has revolutionised the way charities work today – and the less fortunate are reaping the benefits with record-breaking donation levels.