The non-profit and fundraising industry is as dynamic as any other, and like many other industries, technology has revolutionised fundraising; both in the way we give and how we engage with charitable organisations.
With websites, fundraising apps and digital donations now well established, where does that leave traditional paper-based transactions? And how can non-profits and charities continue to harness online fundraising to generate target- busting returns in 2020?
Technology is here to stay and while paper based events and manual donations still take place, digital donations are the preferred choice across most age demographics. In 2019, over 60% of Millennials, Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers prefer to donate online or using PayPal. Cash is the preferred donation option for less than 11% across all three demographics.
It’s a stark reminder that technology isn’t just for the young; it continues to be adopted in large numbers by people of all ages.
Whether you’re running a donation drive, silent auction or raffle, digital platforms are your supporters’ preferred means of participating, so make sure your 2020 fundraising strategy includes online options.
While stats on digital donation preferences hold up across most demographics, how they engage with your cause differ.
Your methods of communication need to reflect how each demographic is inspired to give. Social media is most likely to inspire Millennials and Gen-Xers to donate or participate, however, email is the best method of communication for Baby Boomers.
Understanding your supporter base and reflecting their communication preferences is the important precursor to securing digital donations.
Eco-friendly fundraising events are becoming less nice-to-have and more must-have. The growing awareness of climate and pollution issues means charitable organisations must make efforts to manage their environmental impact.
Digital fundraising technology plays a huge part in supporting fundraisers’ green ambitions. Whether it’s event tickets, silent auction bidding, information brochures or prize invoicing, there’s an online platform that can remove the need for paper.
More comprehensive fundraising solutions will provide a streamlined platform that can deliver multiple features (e.g. direct donations, auctions, invoicing and information booths) in a single app.
If your event includes name badges and lanyards, look to automated badge-printing kiosks that support eco-friendly badging materials such as bamboo and recycled PEP.
With increases in digital communication and transactions comes the need for watertight data security.
Protecting your supporters’ personal information is paramount, not only for ethical reasons but legal too. Most developed nations have strict regulatory frameworks in place that digital communication providers must abide by.
Make sure you’re familiar with the relevant laws in the places where you operate, bearing in mind your data may be from people outside your primary country of operation.
Ask each digital platform supplier about their data protection policies and ensure you receive written confirmation they comply with relevant legislation.
Your cause may have a local focus but online fundraising can give you access to supporters from around the world. The digital age means anyone from anywhere can potentially take part in your online silent auction, donation drive or raffle.
The trick to capitalising on this opportunity is spreading the word. This might be as simple as encouraging your existing supporters to post the event or campaign to their social media channels.
Huge gains can be made by creating a challenge or message that goes ‘viral’. A great example of this is the ‘ice bucket’ challenge that started as a small local challenge undertaken by a few people that quickly became a global phenomenon.
Finding the right message to capture the attention of a wider audience may take a bit more work but the rewards can be outstanding.
Attracting sponsorship can make a huge difference to charities and non-profits’ fundraising totals. Sponsorship can help cushion the cost of fundraising campaigns and big brand alignment can boost awareness of the cause itself.
In 2018, corporations in North America alone spent $2.14bn. The overall sponsorship spend in Asia Pacific, for the same year, was expected to be over $16.5bn.
Genuine altruism is a reason why corporations sponsor good causes. But boosting customer numbers and brand recognition is also a big driver. Offering a range of options to showcase sponsor brands delivers a great return on their investment.
Digital platforms have opened up a whole range of interesting spaces to promote sponsors. Fundraising app banners, pop-ups, branded email communications and online prize catalogues all offer high visibility engagement.
Used in conjunction with traditional printed materials, such as posters and physical banners, digital delivers sponsors wider exposure and the potential for a high volume of connections.