For better or worse, the pandemic has fundamentally changed how and where charities and nonprofits engage donors and supporters. We provide useful tips on how to fundraise for charity on digital channels and reach out to digital natives.
The past two years have been rocky for charities, aid groups and nonprofit organisations. Independent Sector, a group of nonprofit, foundations and corporate giving programmes, reports that 83% of organisations saw donations decline in 2020 compared to the previous year.
There is, however, a silver lining.
Despite furloughs and tough economic conditions at the height of the pandemic, one in five UK adults said they were willing to donate more than usual, according to research by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
But as lockdown restrictions prevented workers and volunteers from engaging supporters and potential donors through face-to-face interactions, charities had to turn to other means of fundraising.
This is where digital fundraising comes in.
The Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Report notes that 60% of charities ran fundraising campaigns through digital channels. Of that number, 75% said it was the first time they had done so.
With the use of charity software and digital services, nonprofits can engage potential donors and existing supporters on the channels they already use, whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or the charity’s official website.
Related Reading: Why charity software is the future of fundraising engagement
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together some useful tips and advice on how to fundraise for charity through digital methods.
1. Raise donations directly from your website
First things first, you’ll want to maximise your website’s ability to engage donors by offering facilities to donate online.
If you’re a small or independent charity with no website, now is the time to set one up right away. At some point, you’re going to have to move away from platforms like Just Giving and GoFundme to come across more professionally as a charity.
Your website need not be complex or come with fancy bells and whistles, but it should clearly explain:
- What you do
- Who or what cause you’re supporting
- Why you’re supporting that specific cause or group of people.
It should also make it easy for people to donate. At Futr, our chatbots for charities provide a no-code service that enables live chat on your site. Your chatbot can then answer your potential donors’ most frequently asked questions and provide options to donate within the chat, thanks to integrations with payment platforms like Stripe and PayPal.
2. Enable cashless donations
The combination of lockdown restrictions and hygiene concerns led to a sharp decline in cash donations during the pandemic. Research by CAF shows that the percentage of donors that gave using cash plummeted to 7% in January 2021. By contrast, the share of cashless donations via website or app peaked at 35% between May and June 2020.
The ability to accept cashless donations is a cornerstone of digital transformation in the charity sector. Your organisation must make it easy for supporters to donate using their debit or credit cards, whether it’s through integrations with online fundraising platforms, donation buttons on your website, or AI chatbots.
You can also use QR codes to bring your digital donation channels offline, allowing donors to scan the code and give on your official digital channels.
Related Reading: The essential guide to digital transformation for nonprofits and charities
3. Promote sharing on social media
A strong social media presence enables your volunteers, workers and supporters to share your cause with their circle of friends online. This is common knowledge. But what you might not know is the impact of social media on the charity and nonprofit sector.
For instance, Nonprofits Source reports that:
- The average peer-to-peer fundraising campaign generates anywhere between 15% to 18% of donations directly from Facebook.
- 84% of Facebook users share content showing their support for a cause or issues they consider important.
Meanwhile, in 2018, Facebook reported that its users had raised over $1 billion on the social network since the introduction of its charitable giving tools like Facebook Fundraisers and Donate Button.
If you want to do more than share updates and content about your charity’s cause, consider running a social media competition. Take inspiration from campaigns like Movember, which engage donors and supporters through contests and photo submissions (for best moustache).
Add digital to your list of donor engagement channels in 2022
This list of tips on how to fundraise for charity should give you the foundation you need to start engaging potential donors and existing supporters on digital channels. As consumer habits become more digital-oriented than ever, charities need to be ready to embrace digital transformation in 2022 and beyond.
For more tips and insights on how to start a fundraiser for charity on your digital channels, be sure to follow the Futr blog. Inspired by this story? You can also download our eBook “How charities can drive digital transformation through chatbots” to learn how you can integrate chatbots into your digital fundraising efforts.
Get in touch with the Futr team to learn how chatbots can drive digital transformation in your charity. Sign up for a four-week trial of our charity technology, or schedule a FREE demo at your convenience.