We look at some of the reasons why your donations may be on the decline and offer some advice to help you get them back up
The shift towards digital fundraising has only accelerated due to recent events. With charity digital leaders rising to the challenge of converting physical to online operations, digital fundraising and online events have grown in importance.
With so many fundraising opportunities, charity digital leaders may still need to iron out kinks across donation strategies and platforms. We highlight some of the digital reasons why donations could be dropping and offer advice on how to avoid the pitfalls. Above all else, our takeaway message is to make it as easy as possible for audiences to donate.
Charities have broken the mould of traditional fundraising and are succeeding at tapping into audiences on new platforms like TikTok. Embracing new digital fundraising trends, the British Red Cross and Help Musicians have already launched videos and raised funds through TikTok’s donate buttons.
Paul Amadi, Chief Supporter Officer at the British Red Cross, claims: “We are excited to be one of the first charities to include the new TikTok Donation Sticker. This opportunity will help the British Red Cross raise vital funds to continue our work, supporting the most vulnerable people during this crisis. From handwashing dance moves to showcasing our people working on the frontline, the British Red Cross has been using the TikTok platform to lift the nation’s spirits and share vital information about the virus.”
Being a first-mover onto the platform, British Red Cross and Help Musicians have benefited from TikTok’s match funding programme and donation buttons. While many charities still rely on crowdfunding platforms like JustGiving, other donation channels are promising. To maximise opportunities, keeping on top of digital fundraising trends and diversifying outreach channels can enhance fundraising efforts.
Online digital donations may be dropping because user journeys are too complicated. Published in Time Magazine and cited by HubSpot, the average user spends only 15 seconds on a website. For charity digital leaders, this means that the route to donation needs to be clear. CTI Digital, a web development and digital agency, suggests the following:
By clearing the path to making a digital donation, charity digital leaders can make it simple to attract donors.
Cash is no longer king when it comes to accepting payments. UK Finance reported that the volume of cash payments fell by 16% in 2018, and forecasted that by 2024, half of all payments would be completed by debit card.
As audiences now are tuned into the use of mobile phone payments, contactless credit and debit cards, charity digital leaders have also come up with innovative ways to keep up.
TAP London and Goodbox’s collaboration to fight homelessness resulted in the launch of contactless donation boxes. Located in busy transport areas, commuters can quickly tap the box to donate £3. One year on, the boxes have raised over £145,000, showing how powerful digital payments can be when fundraising.
Of all the online donations received in the UK, the National Philanthropic Trust found that “24% of all online donations in 2018 were made using a mobile device.” For younger audiences, mobile devices are even more prevalent. Software firm Blackbaud’s report revealed that 92% of Millennials and Gen-Z would give via mobile versus only 44% of their parents’ generation.
Checking in on why donations may be dropping, mobile-unfriendly donation pathways may be the culprit. Typically, websites which don’t appear on small screens or take longer than usual to load can cause issues for donors. Overcoming these potential problems, charities using mobile phone apps and mobile-only sites can increase traffic towards digital donation routes.
Agency WPNC recently revealed new trends in its Online Donations Report 2020. The report found that the majority of one-time donations were under £25, and that the most common amount donated was £10. For regular donations, those under £49 accounted for 99% of all regular online giving, with the largest regular donation bracket between £5 and £10.
Making sense of these statistics, donations may be dropping because amounts haven’t been suggested to audiences, or, amounts might be unrealistic. For charity digital leaders, suggesting strategic donation amounts for one-time and recurring digital donations may increase fundraising.