NPO’s Need To Look Into Digital Channels

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Charities have noticed a decline in donations over the last ten years. Fewer households are supporting non-profit organisations and 50% of the revenue is coming from donor households. Whilst there is an emphasis to retain donors, non-profits also have to look for new fundraising strategies.

People have traditionally given to charity by dropping loose change into a box or setting up regular donations by way of direct debit. However, in today’s society, digital technologies are helping non-profits encourage donations through online platforms. 

Although the majority of people would like to donate to charity, most people forget about donating unless they are prompted. Even then they have to be compelled to give an amount they can afford to a cause they feel is worth supporting.

In the current environment, non-profits should focus on retaining active support, but also create avenues to encourage occasional donations. These channels have to offer convenience and move donors to take action. The online sphere provides an ideal solution.

Online fund-raising tools

Encouraging people to donate requires an understanding of needs and preferences. The insights required to understand modern markets go beyond the general demographics of age, income and education. People generally make donations with their heart rather than their head.

The results of one study published on Third Sector revealed young people favour educational institutions, 25-44 year, olds sponsor children and young people, 45-64 year old’s prefer preservation of the environment and animals and the over 65’s favour hospital, hospices and religions.

One of the issues non-profit organisations face is raising public awareness. Online channels have been a great help for charities to reach a wider audience. The internet, email and social media give NGOs and NPOs an opportunity to expand the borders of their own country and appeal to donors on a worldwide scale.

Online campaigns that deliver the best performance are visually compelling. Experiments have also revealed that people are more responsive to charities that identify a single identifiable beneficiary they can relate to. When charities makes videos that make a sweeping statement about the scale of a problem, people are less interested.

Personalisation in videos is an intrinsic element of any marketing campaign. Viewers need to be able to relate to the person on screen and feel moved before they are compelled to take action. But donors also need to feel a connection at every point of the journey.

The acquisition and conversion of donors should have a different message than marketing strategies that focus on early on-boarding engagement, donor retention and loyalty-building efforts. Personalisation strategies deliver value that empowers consumers by providing them with the right information at the right time on the right channel.

A new marketing technique that is proving successful for non-profits is modularity, a methodology that is adaptive, flexible and uses customers data to leverage content. For example, modular story-telling aligns personalised experiences with the behaviour you want to influence your audience with.

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Inspirational videos for charity marketers

Generating content ideas that will appeal to audiences with changing attitudes towards charities can cause marketers a dilemma. For inspiration, check out these examples of how NPOs use video marketing successfully.

A report published by Global Trends in Giving also provides a case study conducted by Marie Curie. The charity is finding more success by spreading its fund-raising efforts across multiple marketing channels, both online and offline.

The statistics shown in the tables below are taken from Marie Curie’s most ambitious fund-raising campaigns to date – The Great Daffodil Appeal. The campaign was designed to motivate people to donate and show their support by wearing a daffodil.

The campaign involved traditional strategies for collecting money, but also incorporated digital marketing channels. And as you can see from the statistics below, new technologies are effective for raising awareness and moving people enough to donate.

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Whilst many NPO’s and NGOs are still uncertain about the benefits of social media as a fund-raising tool, 75% of donors say that social media channels is how they mostly hear about, or remember, charities. A further 25% say social media inspires them to make a donation.

We live in a digital age. Mobile technology, social media and the internet plays a pivotal role in our every day lives. Charities that want to stay current and connected with your audience have to look at digital channels as a means of raising awareness and providing platforms that make it convenient for donors to make a contribution.


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