Clear Thinking

Is fundraising really that f**ked?

Today Joe Saxton published a great post – Is fundraising F**ked? It appears the Joe’s post may have fallen into a bit of Pessimism Bias black hole of despondency and looked at the glass as being half empty. To counter this, here are some reasons to be (slightly) more cheerful (to paraphrase Ian Dury).

1/2 Empty – Real incomes are going to be squeezed for the next decade or more
1/2 Full – Donating money remains the main way in which people engage with charity, 61% having done so in the last year. Last year £9.7 BILLION was donated*

1/2 Empty – Millennials squeezed by debt, low incomes and more debt
1/2 Full – Just because Millennials are cash strapped doesn’t mean they aren’t active members of civil society. For example, students are the group most likely to have volunteered in the last year (23%)*

1/2 Empty – Self-regulation makes things tighter
1/2 Full – CAF’s new questions show that 50% of Brits thought charities were trustworthy in 2016 – with women and young people most likely to trust them – sure we have some way to go, but at least it is going in the right direction*

1/2 Empty – GDPR reduces database sizes
1/2 Full – GDPR is just making charities do what they should have been doing for years – be far more focused on the donor experience and less focused on growth at all costs

1/2 Empty – Online giving proving hard to get lift off
1/2 Full – 26% of people giving to charity say they gave online. True getting online fundraising to work effectively is hard, but it is not impossible. The challenge for fundraisers is to break free of the shackles of traditional direct marketing thinking and embrace a world where we empower others to promote our organisations.*

1/2 Empty – Technology allows everybody to be a fundraiser
1/2 Full – JustGiving reports it has helped people in 164 countries raise over $4.5 billion for good causes since we were founded in 2001. Peer to peer platforms are making it easier than ever to raise money. Charities need to focus on making the experience of peer to peer fundraising as fulfilling as possible

1/2 Empty – Less and less cash for tin collecting
1/2 Full – 58% of people who gave, gave cash donations last year – just because it wasn’t in a collecting tin doesn’t mean it’s worth less. But then 40% of people who gave, gave clothes to charity shops.*

1/2 Empty – Cheques are almost an endangered species
1/2 Full – Jan 2017 The NSPCC reports the average card donation during a contactless trial had been £3.07, more than three times the £1 that punters give using cash on average. Yes, cheques are endangered, but there are other ways to give that make the donor experience far easier

Plus two additional points

1/2 Full – Rise in activism as a mainstream activity – 2016 saw a significant increase in numbers of people saying they had taken part in a protest or signed a petition. Numbers who had signed a petition in the past four weeks peaked at 35% in July, following the EU referendum*

1/2 Full – 2018 will see the Institute of Fundraising’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on the Donor Experience initiate a plan to work with the Institute, other sector networks, Fundraising Directors, fundraisers of all types, CEOs, CFOs and trustees to cultivate a fundraising culture where charities consistently deliver an exemplary experience for their supporters. The activities will include training courses, awards and research programmes to prove how good donor experiences directly enable organisations to achieve their charitable objective more effectively.

You can read the outputs from the Commission on the Donor Experience here

If you are interested in finding out more about the Special Interest Group on the Donor Experience contact Chris Washington-Sare

*Source: CAF 2017 UK Giving Report

As Millennials might say: BOOM!