Personal Fundraising Challenges
Times are more difficult now than ever for charities. With countries worldwide suffering from the impact of Covid-19, not for profit organisations are struggling to stay afloat. With more demand for services than ever, it seems there is no quick solution for charities, apart from stepping up their fundraising efforts.
In this post, we’re going to talk about the personal fundraising challenges you might face, but first, let’s look at how Covid impacts both small and global organisations.
The Financial Impact of Covid on Charities
According to an article published in The Guardian, one in ten charities faces bankruptcy due to the pandemic. Not only does this make it more difficult for charities to remain in operation, but it also impacts how many people can access their service.
The RSPCA and Age UK are among the charities struggling financially, but they’re also needed more now than ever. With many older people suffering from the pandemic’s health impacts and animals facing abandonment, both need financial support.
While the government offers charities payments, it’s not enough. Fundraising is essential for any organisation that wants to survive Covid.
Regardless of how the pandemic has impacted your organisation, there are still some challenges you’ll face when fundraising irrespective of the global economic situation. Let’s take a look at them.
Dealing With GDPR Compliance
While data protection has always been a top priority for charitable organisations, the GDPR act forces agencies to comply with a strict set of regulations. The General Data Protection Regulation legislation is the most stringent globally and applies to anyone gathering data from EU residents.
It doesn’t matter if a charity is located in the UK or USA; it still needs to comply with the strict rules set out by the GDPR or face a hefty fine. There is so much to learn about the new regulations, which came into force in 2018, but this guide from the GDPR website will help you understand more detail.
While most businesses can’t afford to make any mistakes with handling data, charities need to step up their GDPR compliance efforts to avoid fines. Any negative perception of a not for profit organisation could result in fewer donations and a poor public image.
Due to the new regulations, people expect absolute transparency about what happens with their data, so while it makes your operations more challenging, it’s also an excellent opportunity to show your donors how transparent you can be.
People appreciate honesty – especially when it comes to how charities are spending their money. If you can demonstrate your compliance levels, potential donors will put their trust in you, which will make fundraising efforts easier.
If you’d like to learn more about becoming GDPR compliant, you can read this helpful guide from the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
Reduced Number of Individual Donations
It’s incredible to think that while people are becoming more socially conscious and willing to speak out about world issues, they’re not donating as much money as they used to. The primary cause of a lack of donations is due to a lack of trust in how charities spend their contributions.
With some of the UK’s largest organisations coming under fire, it impacts how people feel about placing their trust in charities.
The Oxfam Scandal
If the Oxfam scandal teaches us anything, it’s that people care about how a charity conducts itself. It’s not just about how donations are spent, but how representatives for the organisation behave.
For example, Oxfam workers went to Haiti to offer support after the earthquake. But, when they began paying women for sex, it had enormous implications for the charity. Not only did it impact individual donations, but the UK government also developed a strained relationship with Oxfam.
This scandal shows us that fundraising isn’t just about showing what you do, but it’s also how you conduct yourself professionally.
Some of the UK’s largest charities are also under fire for failing to use their donations to improve the social issues they support. People give generously to causes. While it’s understandable that charities need to budget for marketing, operations and staffing, some seem to spend more on these things than on actually helping others.
Numerous statistics show the percentage of donations that go towards supporting a cause. We’ve taken statistics from The Daily Mail to highlight why so many people refuse to place their trust in charities.
|Charity||Average % of income spent on frontline charitable activities.|
|Cancer Research UK||64%|
|Sheffield City Trust||25%|
If people see these numbers, it’s easy to see why they’re reluctant to donate money. Donors want to know exactly where their money is going, and if a charity isn’t transparent about how much it’s spending on marketing and staffing, it could get a poor reputation.
While many smaller charities do put most of their donations towards the cause they support, organisations such as The British Heart Foundation and Age UK could impact how the public perceives small organisations.
Failure to Connect With Donors
People want to know where their money is going. Just as you wouldn’t purchase a product without researching it and looking at the reviews, they won’t give your organisation money unless you keep them informed and connected.
It’s not just advisable to develop long-term relationships with your donors; it’s essential to continue their support. A simple thank you for donating email isn’t enough anymore, so you need to think about ways to show people that you’re grateful for their support.
When you think about the amount of money charities need to survive, it should make sense to continue nurturing and building relationships with regular donors rather than spending a fortune trying to source new ones.
It’s also essential to think about how people want you to connect with them.
The Telephone Trap
There will always be some donors that prefer talking on the phone, but most of us have busy lives and look for convenience. The truth is, most people won’t take kindly to constant phone calls to say thank-you and update them about how you’re spending their money.
In some cases, it could even cause someone to cease donating to a charity because they feel harassed. Luckily, there is an easy way around this.
Not for profit organisations such as Oxfam use apps, which makes donating to the cause a hassle-free process. Not only that, but people can log onto the app and see how Oxfam is spending their money.
Apps can offer complete transparency without interrupting a donors life, which means they’re more likely to provide more money in the future.
Personalise the Donation Experience
If you want to maximise your donations, then it’s vital that you personalise the experience you offer people. The days of cold calling should be a thing of the past, and the future is all about treating human beings as individuals.
Ask how your donors want to be contacted and remember to provide them with useful information about how their money supports your cause. By tailoring your fundraising approach, you can save your time and money by focusing on people that take an active interest in your organisation.
Competition in a Digital Market
Digital technology offers so many growth opportunities, and it’s completely changed the way we interact with each other and do business. From platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to the emergence of mobile responsive websites and content marketing, the internet can be a goldmine for charities. But it can also prove to be an uphill struggle that many can’t win.
To understand how digital technology can impact a small charitable organisation’s success, we need to look at the advantages and disadvantages it offers.
While digital technology has many advantages, there are some distinct reasons why charities use the internet to scale up their fundraising efforts.
Social media is one of the best ways to connect with a broader audience. It offers a unique opportunity for a charity to connect with a global audience and appeal to the good nature of others.
A strong post can help you make an immediate impression on your target audience, turn them into followers and nurture consistent donations. It’s all about how you position yourself, but platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great ways to make an impact online.
One post can reengage your public and place your company in front of a global audience. For example, the ALS ice bucket challenge gave the organisation enough money to conduct new research and hopefully find a cure for the condition.
Most professionals are on LinkedIn because it’s an excellent way for people to find new jobs and the best platform for B2B marketing. It would help if you also considered how useful it could be for fundraising and gaining support from corporate sponsors.
An article published by Investopedia shows how important it is for companies to demonstrate their commitment to supporting world causes and positively impacting their audience. LinkedIn can be the ideal opportunity to find a corporate partner that will help your fundraising efforts.
Fundraising platforms such as Just Giving and Go Fund Me are excellent opportunities for charities to gather more donations. There is sometimes an upfront cost, but if you know how to communicate the benefits of supporting your charity, the results can be excellent.
QR Code Technology
One of the worst things for donors is inconvenience. Let’s face it; nobody wants to spend ages inputting their card details or sitting on an automated telephone line. However, the world’s first QR cashless payment system means people can donate to charities at the click of a button.
With automated gift aid technology, charities can offer a convenient and flexible way for their donors to support their charity.
It’s essential to understand the disadvantages charities face when relying on digital technology. By doing this, you can take steps to improve your fundraising efforts.
In the days of door to door fundraising, representatives for a charity could directly speak to potential donors and emphasise the importance of their cause. While it’s still possible to do this on social media, it can also be challenging to stand out from the crowd.
An article from Rev Local shows that businesses should post once a day on Facebook, which applies to charitable organisations. It can be tough to provide useful and entertaining content daily, especially if you don’t have the budget to hire a specialist.
You could easily be at risk of failing to get your followers’ attention and losing people to other charities.
The Internet is Always Changing
The internet is always adapting. From dial-up internet to WiFi and Nokias to Smartphones, we have access to the newest technology, and the future looks promising for tech fans. But if charities want to survive the ever-changing technology, they need to be willing to adapt your fundraising efforts.
For example, video content is the big thing right now. Blogging and website copy is still necessary, but people enjoy watching videos because they give a more realistic look at how your charity benefits others.
Infographics are also popular, but they can take a long time to design. Keeping up to date with new technologies gives you the best chance of success, but it’s also challenging to find the time and budget to compete with larger charities.
Unsuccessful Corporate Partnerships
A strong partnership with a company can make a charity and drive it towards sustainable success. But corporate partnerships aren’t enough anymore. The days of simple sponsorship are long behind us, and charities need so much more than a logo display.
The change in public attitude means both charities and their corporate partners need to demonstrate their commitment to supporting important social causes actively. An ideal way to do this is usually through initiatives and creative advertising.
There are so many corporate partnerships in the UK, but we’ve narrowed it down to the ones with the most inspiring message.
Haven & The Royal National Lifeboat Institution
The UK holiday park giants Haven supported the RNLI with fundraising and raised £173,000 for the charity in 2019. Using their parks as inspiration for events, Haven invites guests to participate in skydives, abseiling and other activities that benefit the RNLI.
Teamspirit & Fair Money Advice
Teamspirit shows us that it’s possible to partner with a charity and offer support without giving money. The financial services agency develops effective communication programmes for Fair Money Advice to help vulnerable people manage their debt.
Under Armour & British Heart Foundation
Under Armour supports the BHF by hosting pop-up sample shops in BHF stores. Members of the public could purchase discounted clothing with the proceeds going to BHF research. Their staff members also volunteered at the shop.
Building a Successful Corporate Partnership
It’s important to remember that partnering with a nationally recognised company isn’t always beneficial. Smaller businesses might be more willing to engage in event-based activities and help with fundraising, rather than offer some payments to your charity.
A corporate partnership must benefit both parties involved, so find a business you’ll be willing to commit to as well.
Relying Completely on Donations
One of the biggest mistakes we see charities making all the time is relying entirely on donations. There are so many other ways an organisation can use its resources to gain financial support, but most overlook them, wasting time and money.
There are so many ways to fundraise. Here are some of our favourites.
Rent out Space
If you have a large building, you can rent out office space to other companies and charge a monthly rate.
Specialist charities such as the Dogs Trust and St John Ambulance run classes to help others learn vital skills.
Host Fun Events
Similarly to Haven, you could use your location to host fun events. For example, an animal shelter would benefit from holding doggie talent contests. You could also have silent auctions, clothing drives and many other fun events.
Social enterprise is about so much more than hosting an event. It’s a great way to meet local businesses and hopefully find some corporate sponsors. While fundraising will always be important, planning regular events can help you ensure a consistent stream of money keeps your organisation afloat.
Fundraising will always be challenging for any organisation, especially when you have to rely on others’ generosity. Luckily, if people believe in your cause and know that you’re a reputable organisation, they’ll be more willing to place their trust in you.
It’s more important now than ever to offer your donors convenience, to make the process easier. Evershare.io is an innovative payment system that provides a pain-free way for people to donate money and charities to receive it.
Using QR codes means you can offer high-security payment options to your donors, and enjoy the lowest cashless payment system in the world. With more people choosing to carry less cash on them and payment systems such as Stripe charging for each transaction, Evershare.io is paving the way for charities to maximise their donations without compromising their finances.