In this difficult time, it’s imperative that charities maintain fundraising through the right platforms and messaging
At the beginning of the year, we featured the e-book, ‘Digital strategy design: a step by step guide for charities’ outlining how digital strategy is more than just website design and IT processes:
“Digital strategy defines much more, for example the technology strategy needed to deliver your organisation’s vision and expected outcomes. This spans across all areas of business – from communications, marketing and fundraising to programme/service delivery, business processes, data strategy, finance, productivity systems, etc.”
The approach is to take a holistic approach to digital, including marketing, communications and fundraising. Looking at this segment, we review digital fundraising channels, and messaging strategies.
Across the charitable sector, supporters and donors are looking for authenticity and transparency. New digital tools have facilitated that ‘look-through’ approach – 360 degree views used by Great Ormond Street Hospital, Charity:water’s immersive story telling – are both great examples of charity digital leaders using a messaging strategy that motivates fundraising by adding clarity to where funds are going.
For charity digital leaders developing their unique message, bear in mind that donors are looking for impact. C-group Design, a creative design agency specialising in strategy, branding, and website design suggests that the messaging should ‘clearly demonstrate the financial impacts and benefits of supporting the cause’.
Once hooked, remember, the messaging doesn’t end with the donation being made. Get to know your audience, and tailor communications through personalisation.
By analysing donor digital preferences and demographics, marketing and communication teams can start to build ‘personas’ of different donor types. Charitable causes can then craft messages specifically targeting donor types, enhancing the conversion rate. Thanking donors for funding and volunteering can also factor into emotive messaging for causes. For many larger charities, supporters build life-long relationships that may result in legacy donations and regular debit payments.
Online fundraising channels can be broken down into a few buckets – crowdfunding, click-to-give, auctions, donation campaigns, social media buttons, and text. Each bucket comes with characteristics which may, or may not be suitable for your cause or campaign. For example, crowdfunding campaigns work really well for individuals or teams raising funds for a race, cause, or event. Social media buttons are best placed on social media platforms.
We review a few of the most well-known, and lesser-known charity fundraising channels here, and suggest how leaders can tailor their charity message.
1.) JustGiving – One of the most popular crowdfunding sites, JustGiving can crowdfund your event, cause, or campaign as a charity or individual. The platform has a global reach, tapping into a network of over 22 million users in 160 countries – this could be an important element of choice for charity digital leaders looking to branch out overseas. Individuals can also link up with charities and donate directly from their own bank accounts. We have also outlined a number of alternatives.
2.) Instagram and Facebook – Taken together, the two social media platforms have extensive reach. Facebook has 2.5 billion users - and added with Instagram, charities can reach almost 3 billion users worldwide. For charity digital leaders, these two platforms are a must.
3.) Payment technologies – Coming under the marketing banner of ‘cause-marketing’ linking purchases with charitable giving, payment technologies offer donors an opportunity to donate when making purchases. The GivingMachine has partnered with popular retailers and charities, with a percentage of purchases going directly to charitable causes. Many charities are already registered, like Dogs Trust, Mind, Shelter, and Neuroblastoma UK.