In today’s fast-paced and digital savvy world, it’s easy for charities and non-profit organisations to assume that digital is the sole answer to their fundraising strategy. But to what extent can we rely on digital fundraising, and can it single-handedly secure donors?
Before charities invest in digital channels, it’s important for them to consider who their target audience is. For example, a report by Fundraising Media DNA, exploring how donors interact with different fundraising channels, highlights the fact that the success of a fundraising channel often depends on its demographic. For example, the report shows that direct mail tends to score highly as “trustworthy” among the over-55s, whereas “social media over-indexes among the under 34s and for sharing.”
In a blog post for UK Fundraising, David Burgess, Fundraising Consultant, the Management Centre, claims that – whilst digital fundraising is extremely useful – it is “simply a channel”, of which there are many (face-to-face, telephone, direct mail…). Therefore, the elementary principles of fundraising still need to apply.
Burgess said: “… no matter how smart Android phones might be or how clever your charity’s website is, the basic principles of fundraising still need to be in place – you need to tell me a story, I need to have an emotional response that leads to me making the decision to donate, and I need to turn that decision into positive action.”
When approaching digital fundraising, it is important for charities to remember that, beyond the computer screen, they are still targeting people. As Burgess puts it: “All of the rules and principles of Relationship Fundraising apply when you are using digital platforms, and there are no rules that apply in the digital world that don’t apply in the real one.”
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