Four big reasons to invest in digital » Charity Digital News

Four big reasons to invest in digital

Gordon Aikman Just Giving

From social media, to big data, to the universal shift towards mobile, the rise of digital technology means charities have countless new ways to raise awareness.

It’s important that your organisation adapts to these developments so you can harness the power of digital to grow online as well as offline. Here are four reasons why you should invest in going digital:

1. Growing engagement

New media platforms and mobile devices allow for greater levels of engagement with your supporters. Charities can share updates, promote current campaigns and personally thank people for their support. In return, supporters can share your campaign messages and update people on their fundraising activities.

During the run up to the London Marathon, JustGiving sends hundreds of personal tweets wishing runners good luck and congratulating them upon finishing. Meanwhile, participants post tens of thousands of updates, videos and photos across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

2. Going viral

Investing in digital tools enables charities to publicise campaigns to many more people. It’s not always easy, but the right message and approach can see online campaigns capture the public’s hearts and imaginations.

In 2014, the #NoMakeUpSelfie campaign that spontaneously erupted from Twitter raised more than £8 million for Cancer Research UK. The ALS #IceBucketChallenge soon followed, raising over $137 million worldwide. As these campaigns were primarily online, it was very simple for people to show support and encourage others through nominations, exponentially growing awareness of the cause.

3. Sharing stories

People connect with people, so the public responds better to campaigns led by real people’s stories than by statistics. Platforms like YouTube, SoundCloud, blogs and social media let charity supporters and service users share experiences and encourage other people to get involved.

The power of storytelling has been exemplified by Gordon Aikman and the late Stephen Sutton. Both diagnosed with terminal diseases at a young age, they decided to use what precious time they had to share their experiences online, raising awareness and bringing about positive change. They have inspired many to support their causes so more can be done to tackle illnesses such as cancer and motor neurone disease. As of May 2016, Aikman has raised more than £460,000 for motor neurone disease research.

4. Getting personal

Using data effectively is crucial for long-term marketing success. Analytics from your organisation’s website, social media accounts and email campaigns can provide valuable insights and help you create more accurate, targeted campaigns.

Visitor behaviour data (purchase history, visited pages, videos watched) and personal information gathered from online forms (age group, location, occupation) can also be used to deliver personalised experiences, attracting new donors and nurturing loyal supporters.

For example, if someone signs up to your charity’s newsletter and visits the ‘Support Us’ area of your site, they could be interested in becoming a donor. The next step should be to email them outlining how to donate and the difference their donation could make.

A helping hand

We have recently launched our annual Digital Development Fund, which is aimed exclusively at not-for-profit organisations. Through the scheme, your organisation can apply for 50% contribution towards a digital project of your choice, helping you to grow online.

Register your charity’s interest in the Digital Development Fund and find out more here. The closing date for getting in touch is 7th June 2016. If you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to contact the team at or call 01752 717170.

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A graphic advertising eBay for Charity, powered by PayPal Giving Fund. It reads 'Get picked' with a picture of five apples in a row, one red in the middle and two green on each side. Underneath it the tagline reads 'Grow your donations on eBay'.