Interview with Polly Gowers, CEO and Founder, GiveAsYouLive

| 13th Feb 14

At the recent CHASE 2014 in London, Polly Gowers, CEO and Founder of online fundraising platform GiveAsYouLive, delivered a seminar unveiling the results of the second Digital Donor Review.

The review spoke to more than 10,000 charity supporters, making it the largest UK survey on digital giving. Charity Digital News was there to catch up with Polly afterwards.

You mentioned that young people are moving away from traditional social media channels such a Facebook. What advice would you give to charities which are looking to engage younger donors?

I think the key thing is to understand what you’re asking them to do. If you want to engage them, and get them to understand you, I’d say launch a game app. It’s never a simple question. Ask who they are, where they are, and what you want them to do, and then use the channels where they are already spending time.

Are there any social media channels charities are forgetting? Do you think charities are missing an opportunity when it comes to channels such as Snapchat and Whatssap?

I have no basis to prove that, but I do know that 83% of charities do not have a mobile strategy, so on that basis I’d say probably, yes.

How do you think charities could use Snapchat to reach out to their demographics?

If you want to increase awareness, spread a message and create action, then you need to give people content that they will share and engage with. Snapchat is a very good channel to do that with. But digital is all about testing. Whatever works, do more of that.

What do you think charities should look out for in 2014?

Mobile. Get a mobile strategy. What was really interesting was that we asked charities if they have a responsive website and the data came back saying they all had. We were a little dubious and so spot-checked it, testing 20% of the results. None of them had. They misunderstood the question; what they thought was mobile responsive was not mobile responsive.

Why do you think 83% of charities don’t have a mobile strategy in place?

Lack of time and resources. A lot of charities are just getting to grips with digital. It’s not their fault; 79% of major retailers have masses of resources and still don’t have a responsive site.

That would be a great thing to see in the future, more retailers getting on board with charity fundraising. You mentioned transactional giving, where donors get something in return for their donation. This could really be the future of fundraising.

Yes, people like getting something back for their donation. GiveAsyouLive is all about users giving to charity as they purchase things online. Every charity of any size is already signed up and shoppers can choose which charity they donate to.