Cost of Living Crisis: New Data to Inform Your 2023 Fundraising Strategy 

GOOD Agency The Cost Of Living Crisis And How To Build A Resilient Fundraising Strategy

75% of Brits believe that people in the UK need more support now than they did during the COVID pandemic. But what does this mean for your charity? 

The cost of living crisis is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now. In our most recent webinar with GOOD Agency, we covered important topics like giving in the crisis, how charities can adapt, and more. You can watch it on demand here. 

Alternatively, we’re sharing a summary of the learnings below to help you put together a robust and resilient fundraising strategy for 2023.  

Stay hopeful: people are still willing to give 

Research from GOOD Agency revealed that 3 in 5 (59%) of Britons feel that their finances are worsening. 

However, charitable giving is one of the last things people want to (and plan to) cut back on. Adults say they’d first spend less on energy for their homes (35%) and even Christmas presents for others (26%). 

In addition, heavy givers (those who gave more than £50 in the last three months) are giving even more (16%). In contrast, people who gave less than £50 are cutting back over the next three months (22%). 

Making data-informed changes to your fundraising strategy is one of the best ways to respond. Attendees told us how they were feeling about the cost of living crisis in a series of polls during the webinar. 

 Read on to see how other charities are making changes and how successful they’ve been. 

Should I change my charity fundraising strategy? 

During the webinar, we heard from charities about changes they’ve made to their fundraising strategies. 64% said they hadn’t yet made changes in response to the cost of living crisis, but are hoping to. 

While a majority said they were expecting a negative impact on donations, 6% said the changes they’ve made have been successful. 15% said they hadn’t seen any change in supporter behaviour since making a change. 

Here are some things that have worked well for charities during the cost of living crisis – you can also consider adding these to your strategy: 

  • Reaching out to supporters via telephone 
  • Using QR codes in marketing materials 
  • Attracting younger donors for the first time 
  • Leveraging giving events like #GivingTuesday 

Top tips for fundraising during the cost of living crisis 

Although we’re still learning from what the data is telling us, there are ways you can start exploring, brainstorming, and testing. The most important thing is to keep asking yourself if the actions you take are right for your cause and your supporters. 

So, what can you do to minimise the impact of the cost of living crisis on your charity? Based on the research above, here are some tangible actions you can take to put your charity in a strong position for 2023. 

Look at the numbers 

Every charity is different. What’s happening in your charity? Use your own data and JustGiving reports to understand how your charity’s been affected. 

For example, have you already noticed a difference in your average donations? Consider lowering your suggested donation, ask and remind donors that any amount, big or small, makes a difference. 

Have your key demographics changed? If so, how can you tap into that audience and engage with them better?  

Here are some questions to ask yourself:  

  • Which of your activities have the most impact?  
  • Which events have the best engagement and activation rates?  
  • How has your regular giving changed?  
  • Is your gift aid increasing or decreasing?  

Look at your data and the insights shared by the GOOD Agency to see if you can spot similar patterns so you can mitigate potential losses. 

Check out our reporting webinar to see how you can make the most out of your donor data with JustGiving.   

Diversify ways supporters can help 

Given the current climate, not everyone will feel able to give to charity right now. However, there are other ways your supporters can help. 

Support doesn’t always have to come in the form of a donation. Ask your supporters to use their voices to spread the word about your charity. You could also ask them to sign a petition, donate goods or their time, or share social media posts.  

Keep your supporters engaged so they’re empowered to give when they’re able. And remember, always thank them for their continued support.  

Engage with every supporter 

Without your supporters, your work would not be possible. Give them the recognition they deserve! 

Investing in stewardship also makes business sense. It’s around five times more costly to recruit a new supporter, sometimes more. It’s much more cost-effective to nurture repeat support than to find entirely new supporters. 

This could be looking at turning donors into fundraisers, or one-off donors to regular givers in the critical 3-month window from their first gift. 

Using your donor data, you can try and test variations in your messaging, especially if something doesn’t seem to be working. If you can, try split testing so you can measure whether these changes are making a difference. 

Build relationships with younger givers 

GOOD Agency research revealed that, although younger audiences aren’t giving as much, their propensity to give is growing.  

Can you see any increases in giving from young donors? Or could this be a potential new audience?  

Encourage your team to better understand how young people shop, donate and consume information. Which channels are they using and are those channels that you could include in your 2023 plans? 

Consider putting together a tailored content strategy for these younger givers. When speaking to them, remember to make the content and donation flow mobile-friendly – as this is where they’re most likely to be. 

Prioritise making quick, shareable, easily-digestible media (for social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. This will help draw younger supporters to your cause. 

Address the cost of living crisis

Have you seen a change in your supporter’s behaviour? This could be a sign that it’s worth trying something new. This might mean adapting your communications to address how people are feeling.  

Although in some instances, simply addressing the cost of living crisis has had a negative impact for charities – for example, more people may donate but the donation value is lower. At JustGiving, we’ve seen a decrease in opens and clicks when we send emails addressing the cost of living crisis. For example, using messaging that includes phrases like, “We know times are tough right now…”.  

Sometimes it’s difficult to know the right thing to say. Perhaps test some messaging with a smaller audience to see how your supporters react. Or, it may instead be better to share stories of hope and community to give them a boost! 

Make supporter journeys frictionless 

Finally, make sure that every experience for a donor or fundraiser is as frictionless as possible. This means reducing the number of steps the donor or fundraiser needs to complete to take their desired action. This could be setting up a page, asking their friends for donations or giving a donation.  

We know that you work hard to nurture and cultivate these relationships, so we always strive to help you provide seamless journeys for your supporters. Here are some of the best fundraising tools you can use to make the biggest impact with JustGiving: 

  • You can use our optimised Giving Checkout for individual giving, which is continually tested and improved, accepting payment methods that mean the donor can donate within seconds 
  •  Deep links can help you take your donors further into the journey – ensuring they choose to make that vital page or donation. 
  • QR codes help connect the physical work with the online – great for marketing materials and in person events. 

Whatever your size, we are here to help you meet your fundraising goals and thrive! For more inspiration and support, check out our Cost of living Crisis webpage.  

And if you missed the webinar you can watch it here. To get the full Cost of Giving Monitor from the GOOD Agency email:

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Pavneet Sembhi is a Customer Success Manager at JustGiving. She's passionate about helping small and medium sized charities achieve their fundraising goals and sharing best practice tips so they can be as successful as possible!