Yesterday, saw the launch of the Status of UK Fundraising 2019 report from Blackbaud Europe and the Institute of Fundraising. It’s an insightful report which looks at the current performance and opinions of charities across the UK, created from a survey of over 1,000 people working in fundraising.
The report is a great tool to benchmark your charity’s activities against others in the sector and identify upcoming trends. We’ve pulled out a few key highlights that we think are particularly interesting.
Unsurprisingly participants reported that there had been a decrease in both cheque and cash donations over the past year. This shift away from offline payments fits with current consumer behaviour, highlighting the importance of investing in innovation. When asked about this, respondents felt that innovation in contactless and social media giving were most likely to have a positive impact on the charity sector’s ability to raise income. In addition, 46% thought Gaming for Good could boost income too.
When we looked at charities reporting fundraising growth, it’s striking that having the right skills and investment, as well as an appetite for innovation were reported as key drivers:
- Innovation – 62% said their income growth was planned based on new and different activity
- Skills – 60% said they could grow because they had the right people with the right skills in place
- Investment – 52% said they could grow because they have the right level of investment in activity
One survey respondent said:
“As a small fundraising team we tried really hard to increase our fundraising through the development of a strategic plan, and make our fundraising sustainable. We did this by creating a diverse way of fundraising and not relying on one source. We now have lots of different income streams such as challenge events, individual giving, lottery, and corporate partners as well as other sources. This has really helped us become more diverse but more importantly sustainable in our fundraising.”
For charities seeing a decline in income, 66% agreed that a lack of resources and people with the right skills in their organisation is limiting their growth. Could remote working be part of the answer? Emily Casson, Digital Fundraising Manager at Cats Protection believes that remote working can open up charities to a phenomenal pool of talent and is why she is bucking the trend in the charity sector in finding recruitment easy.
Digital strategy and social media
Across the sector, 79% of respondents said they had a digital strategy in place. However, when the survey examined this further it found a big gap in the digital approach between small and large charities. 90% of large charities had a strategy in place compared to just 58% of small charities.
Despite this difference in planning, almost all respondents (94%) shared that they used social media to communicate with their supporters. Overall, people felt their social media efforts over the past year had proved successful and a good use of their resources. The only exception was LinkedIn.
The majority of charities shared that they use Facebook and Twitter. Facebook proved to be the favourite with 80% selecting it as their most responsive channel. Channels like Snapchat and Whatsapp are being used but they’re less popular and mainly used by those with a digital strategy already in place.
Read the full report
If you’re looking to build a case for investing in innovation and looking to benchmark your performance against other charities, downloading The Status of UK Fundraising 2019 report is a great place to start.
Get your copy of the full report – enjoy!