Charities need to be ready to process online donations » Charity Digital News

Charities need to be ready to process online donations

According to Blackbaud, average online donation figures in the UK held strong in 2014, although the average amount was impacted by the effects of the high profile Ice Bucket Challenge social media campaign.

Blackbaud’s Online Giving Index for 2014 analysed its customers’ online fundraising pages over the five years between 2010 and 2014.

The average online gift for 2014 was £63.69, which is an 8.6% decrease on the previous year, the first time the amount has fallen in five years. However, if the results for the Ice Bucket Challenge are excluded, the average online gift is £78.59, up 13% (£69.70) from 2013 and 49% (£52.87) from 2010.

Jerome Moisan, Blackbaud Europe’s Managing Director said: “These figures illustrate once again how profoundly successful the Ice Bucket Challenge was to have such an effect on the annual figures, as well as showing that for the fifth consecutive year, average online donation amounts are overall still rising.

“It underlines the importance for all not-for-profits to ensure they are set up to take online donations, both to take advantage of the continuing growth in online giving and to ensure they are ready to capitalise on any future viral campaigns that may cause overnight interest in their cause.”

The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MND Association) was the main UK beneficiary of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Douglas Graham, Director of Fundraising, said: “The Ice Bucket Challenge was a one-off phenomenon and its viral nature meant that the vast majority of income came from a very large number of £5 text donations, but we also saw a huge rise in online donations.

“Compared to 161,000 total donations in the previous year, the Ice Bucket Challenge resulted in 927,000 donations in three weeks! Obviously we were very keen to say thank you and engage with these new donors, but getting so much additional data onto the system using our existing processes became our biggest bottleneck in developing a communication programme. So our advice to other charities would be to look at your systems to see if you have the infrastructure and processes in place to handle sudden very large volumes of incoming donations and queries. Obviously it is a difficult decision on whether to spend money upgrading to cope with a social media campaign that may never happen, but you can understand what you would do to cope with such a nice problem.”


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