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How Charities Can Raise Donations through Digital Channels

Lockdowns and social distancing guidelines caused by the pandemic have forced charities and aid groups to bring engagement and outreach to digital channels.

According to The Status of UK Fundraising 2020 Report by Blackbaud, 60% of charities turned to virtual fundraising during the pandemic — three in four organizations did it for the first time.

The surge of digital interactions over the past two years is likely to be sticky; with new digital habits becoming permanent, charities need to respond by embracing digital fundraising.

What Is Digital Fundraising?

As the name suggests, digital fundraising is a set of activities and tactics that bring donor outreach and engagement to digital channels, such as your website and social media channels. These activities can range from asking donors to give through simple online donation forms to something more strategic, such as a virtual event.

Digital fundraising enables you to expand your outreach efforts beyond geographical boundaries, helping you raise awareness and funds for your cause with more people. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to consider.

1. Set up a Donation Portal on Your Website

A charity’s website is the foundation of its digital fundraising efforts. Take a page from the for-profit playbook — great branding, clear copy, and a slick online user experience all help establish your image and trustworthiness as a charity. Be sure to highlight:

  • The cause you’re supporting
  • Why you’re supporting that cause
  • Your beneficiaries
  • How donations are being used to do good

Finally, you need a safe and secure mechanism that enables people to use digital payment methods, whether PayPal or credit/debit cards.

2. Automate Fundraising with Chatbots

Automation is one of the biggest drivers of digital transformation in business, but it can also empower charities to do more with less.

Think of all the repetitive and routine processes involved during fundraising — things like emails, reminders, and responding to frequently asked questions.

Technologies such as chatbots allow you to automate FAQ responses and signposts to your fundraising portal across a wide range of digital channels — all without the intervention of a live agent.

Chatbots for charities can automate raising brand awareness, responding to donors’ most common questions, such as:

  • What does your charity do?
  • How can I donate?
  • How much can I donate?
  • Where can I go to learn more about your cause?

3. Start a Crowdfunding Campaign

Crowdfunding campaigns are particularly effective at engendering a sense of community. Rather than focusing on donating to a charity, crowdfunding campaigns help divert attention to a cause or program, all while making fundraising a team effort.

Platforms like Just Give, and GoFundMe let you create goal meters, highlighting a shared goal that makes fundraising more collaborative.

Apart from letting you create fundraising campaigns, crowdfunding platforms can also automate updates to donors and email subscribers, keeping them in the loop of your campaign progress.

4. Take Advantage of Google Grants

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on platforms like Google Ads have historically been too cost-prohibitive for many nonprofits — especially the smaller independent organizations.

That’s all changing with Google Grants, which lets nonprofits and charities apply for up to £7,000 ($10,000) per month in search ads and reach larger audiences on Google.

Digital fundraising can be an intimidating step for charities, particularly those historically dependent on face-to-face fundraising. But digital channels offer a massive opportunity to reach new audiences at a relatively low cost — failing to take advantage of these channels puts you at risk of losing revenue.

Author Bio

Author Image:

Name: Andy Wilkins

Andy is the co-founder and CEO of Futr, a tech start-up providing superpowers to critical support teams across the UK. Futr was born in 2017 when Andy and co-founder Lee Skyrme saw the massive opportunity to use cutting-edge artificial intelligence to transform the way we access public services.

Four years later, with the support of an amazing team and fantastic VCs, Futr is proud to include the police, the NHS, and many amazing charities and social services as valued customers.

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