Digital media and its impact on the charity sector
CEO of Ability Net, Nigel Lewis looks at how charities can use digital technologies to generate support, engage with supporters and increase fundraising in a recent article for the Guardian.
The Digital Giving Review, which Charity Digital News reported on last month, found that 30% of the 8,000 UK charity donors were inspired to donate through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.
There have been many innovative examples of organisations using technology over the years; microdonation websites such as Ploink and Pennies ask for small donations, Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon used gamification and an online leadership board to encourage participation. As Lewis notes in his article, the use of digital is being acknowledged across the sector, with a brand new digital giving category introduced for the Technology4Good awards and ‘Best use of technology’ at the recent JustGiving awards.
Donating by text is set to continue growing over the coming years, especially among people aged 34 and younger. This is due to its ease and simplicity; there are no complicated forms to fill in or bank details to share, the user can simply text a number and a sum is deducted from their phone bill.
But it doesn’t stop at fundraising. Engaging with digital media can also help charities communicate with their demographics and reach out to the next generation of donors. Over 50% of charities communicate with their supporters through these channels, yet it is the smaller charities which excel in digital technologies. Lewis comments that it is easier for smaller organisations to adapt to the developments compared to larger ones. 2013 is set to be an exciting year for digital giving, as charities tap into exciting new technologies available to them.