Blog by Stuart Watt, data specialist at Loqate.
A narrated version of this blog is available at the bottom of the page
Since Covid-19 hit the UK back in March 2020, charities have had their fair share of hurdles to contend with. Social distancing measures have put a stop to in-person fundraising activities and events, and government cuts have had a devastating financial impact on not-for-profits up and down the country.
Despite this however, there is still huge pressure on charities to keep delivering their services to communities in need – whether that be through social, health or financial support.
So, at a time when charities are facing the biggest challenges they’ve possibly ever faced, what can they do to maximise fundraising, get new supporters on board, and not just survive, but thrive?
ACEVO members: join us for a webinar on 13 April 2021 about maximising fundraising in a post-pandemic world
How has supporter behaviour been impacted?
To help charities navigate these difficult times and provide some clarity for the future, we surveyed 1000 consumer charity supporters and analysed their behaviour. What did we discover? Here’s a small snapshot of our findings.
- Since the first lockdown, over a quarter of consumers (27%) said they’re donating less or have stopped donating completely.
- Encouragingly though, 63% of supporters said the pandemic hasn’t impacted how much they’re donating at all, and 10% of respondents said they’re donating more now.
- We also wanted to find out how supporters are donating and it comes as no surprise that the most popular method is online (35%).
- When asked how they want to hear from charities, 52% said email was their preferred method of communication, followed by post at 37%.
What does this mean for charities?
The pandemic has accelerated an already growing online market. Even those generations who may have previously shunned the internet have had to migrate online out of convenience and necessity.
With more people saying they want to donate online and email communication being the most popular amongst supporters, charities can make three key changes to capitalise on these trends and maximise their fundraising.
Improve user experience
26% of web users will drop out if there are too many fields to complete. User experience is therefore crucial, particularly when it comes to your donation page. Keep the donation process simple, intuitive, reduce form fields and don’t insist on registration.
Capture accurate data
Making sure data is accurate at the point of entry – for example, when supporters are submitting their details on your donation pages – can save significant time and money in the long run. Address, email and bank verification are all great tools to ensure the data entered is valid.
Cleanse and maintain data
Data typically decays by 20% each year so keeping data regularly cleansed and maintained should be a key priority for any charity. Poor data can result in lost supporters and missed fundraising opportunities, wasted costs through sending communications to incorrect contacts, and you may fall foul of GDPR requirements.
Ultimately, the key to success going forward lies in your knowledge of your supporters – their likes, their dislikes, and their behaviours. And this knowledge can only really come from capturing and maintaining good quality data.
For tips on improving user experience and looking after your data, as well as access to the full research findings, head to www.loqate.com/charity-challenge.