An increase in UK households’ digital use acts a reminder to charities to ensure they are embracing technology.
Charities are being urged not to miss out on the online fundraising potential of the rapid growth in digital use due to the coronavirus lockdown, according to research by EY.
This includes organising online quizzes and shifting fundraising events, such as marathons, online. In addition charities need to be ensuring they are using video-conference tools to support beneficiaries with counselling and advice, as evidence emerges that more of the public are using technology regularly in their home for the first time.
EY’s analysis looked at the shift in the UK’s digital habits as they stay at home due to the outbreak.
This found that 18 per cent of those surveyed are using video calling for the first time.
Around one in ten are using online shopping for the first time, while the same proportion is watching catch-up TV for the first time.
The survey of 2,000 consumers found that around a third (30 per cent) are increasing their use of collaborative applications, such as video conferencing and remote working tools. While mobile phone call use has increased among a similar proportion (35 per cent) of consumers.
“Charities can take advantage of this digital shift in a number of ways,” said EY Global Lead Telecommunications Analyst Adrian Baschnonga.
“Online quizzes and home marathons can be conducted via video calls and conferencing to aid digital fundraising, while counselling services can also benefit from greater usage of video calling.”
He added: “We are seeing a step-change in demand for digital connectivity and content in the wake of coronavirus, as household behaviours adapt to these challenging times.
“Elevated levels of home working alongside a broadening range of online behaviours underline the importance of robust networks now and in the days, weeks and months to come.”
Online fundraising and support
Among charities already adapting fundraising and support amid the pandemic is Tommy’s, which is urging participants in its postponed London Landmarks Half Marathon and members of the public to carry out a solo run; adhering to social distancing guidelines and using online running apps to monitor their progress.
Another is transgender children’s charity Mermaids, which this month is staging its first live streaming online fundraiser, called Digifest 2020, using Twitch and Tiltify.
Meanwhile, education charity Bounce Forward has organised online tutorials for parents to help with their children’s education while schools are closed.