Report reveals lack of digital fundraising strategy among charities

The Institute of Fundraising survey reveals how charities are unprepared for tech innovations such as social media giving and online gaming.

Joe Lepper | 2nd Jul 19
Image of person playing chess, representing strategy.

More than a fifth of charities do not have an online strategy, rising to just under half of smaller charitable organisations, according to a new report.

The Institute of Fundraising’s Status of UK Fundraising Benchmark Report was carried out by Blackbaud Europe and involved an online survey of more than 1,000 charity representatives.

Among respondents 21% said their charity has no digital strategy. For those who work for small charities this rises to 42% who do not have such a strategy.

While a significant proportion do not have a digital strategy almost all (94%) of respondents use social media within their communications.

Lack of preparation

But the Institute of Fundraising report also reveals that 45% of respondents say their charity is either completely or fairly unprepared to take advantage of contactless payment innovations, 30% are unprepared for innovations in online giving through social media and more than half (54%) are not geared up for accepting donations through online gaming.

Those surveyed also admitted the need to adjust to technical trends in the sector. More than two thirds (68%) said that online donations had increased for their charity over the last three years and 19% said their had been an increase in card payments by phone.

“Respondents to the survey told us that the keys to success are to innovate, plan and invest – and this is definitely something we can all learn from. 62% told us their income growth was planned based on new and different activity, 60% said they could grow their income because they had enough people with the right level of skills in place, and 52% said they could grow their income because they have the right level of investment in activity,” said David Benjamin, Blackbaud International Markets Group President.

A separate report released in June by the Institute of Voluntary Action Research and Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology showed that time is the main factor behind charities not embracing digital. The report found that more than half of small voluntary organisations said this was the top reason for slow digital uptake.