Targeting High Net Worth Investors (HNWI) can transform your digital fundraising. By prioritising larger donations, you can reduce the number of donors necessary to achieve your goals.
The trend of donating has decreased over time, putting pressure on charities to look for new sources of funding. CAF’s 2019 Giving Report noted that 57% of those surveyed donated in the period; down from 60% in 2017 and 61% in 2016.
Understanding these trends, charity digital leaders are revamping digital fundraising strategies by going digital and reaching out to new audiences. Despite the game-changing generosity that HNWI can have on charitable operations, not many charities are lucky enough to have big backers. Targeting high net-worth supporters can be a cornerstone to a successful digital fundraising strategy.
Understanding HNWI charitable giving
The number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) is growing at pace world-wide. Unsurprisingly the US boasts the highest number of HNWI; the proportion of British HNWI is increasing and in 2018, their ranks grew by 8.5% to 4,670. The ultra-rich have individually amassed approximately £38 million each, giving them enormous disposable income to donate to charities. Britain’s richest man and INEOS founder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe not only has his own charity but has donated £25 million to the Black Stork Charity.
Large donations of £1 million or more totalled £1.83 billion in 2016, the highest level since 2008-2009. Of the total, donations from individuals comprised 17%, with giving from London taking 60% (£2 billion) of the total number of large gifts.
Using social media to make genuine connections
Unsurprisingly, HNWI are hard to attract – they may be too busy, anonymous, or have barriers which charity digital leaders find hard to understand. Social media can be a powerful tool for attracting large sums from donors, but social media digital strategy should consider HNWI preferences.
Cited as a significant barrier to giving, Barclays’ reported that: “a lack of control on how a donation is used is also cited as a major reason for not being prepared to make large donations, as well as a lack of faith in charities and how they are run.”
Social media can help overcome giving barriers by providing engaging, transparent, genuine communication and content. SproutSocial’s tips on curating content includes posting relatable content and performance measurement.
For charity digital leaders taking it one step further, this might translate into separate ‘messages’ for HNWI targets. Here, showing HNWI and ultra-HNWIs that charitable operations are fully transparent and real can add value – so statistics, video journeys, and insight into charitable back-office operations could be used across the organisation to show how employees, other donors, and supporters live the mission.
User journeys can also be used to add transparency – online publications tracing the path of donations from in-coming funds to distribution show how funds are used effectively. Outlining the decision-making process can also give HNWI donors confidence in where their money is going.
Sharing these messages in addition to regular marketing and communications can make charities stand apart.
Making yourself known in HNWI networks
Social media platforms LinkedIn and Facebook are a good place to start when identifying potential donors, but cold calls are typically turned down. When making first contact, start by identifying platforms which HNWI actually use or turn to. These digital collaborations and pledges might sound unfamiliar, but big names have come together to donate.
Connecting with platforms catering to HNWI pledges can help charities reach out. The Beacon Collaborative is a peer-influence network that encourages philanthropists to come together to give, increase media awareness, increase giving transparency, and pursue research. So far, the collaborative counts UK Community Foundation, Arts Council England, Big Society Capital, and many others as partners.
For charities looking to network with ultra-HNWI and HNWI, digital pledges and networks can be a good start to connecting charity brand with large gift-giving. For charity digital leaders, connecting your brand with powerful industry names can help charities link-up to HNWIs, particularly when HNWIs conduct their own searches for charitable causes.
Charities with international causes can tap into HNWI global citizenship
Intuitively, ultra-HNWI and HNWI have international lives across their business operations, families, and luxury lifestyle. Of HNWIs, 43% of this niche group lives in more than one country – that percentage increases the richer they are.
Charities, regardless of size, can tap into that feeling of global citizenship. Charity digital marketing should further focus on mission across all geographies if possible. For locally based charities, thinking big could be key – sharing global ambitions to scale-up, social media link-ups with other charities overseas, and participation in global initiatives can demonstrate common values with HNWI donors.