charity fundraising

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Life after Virgin Money Giving

Virgin Money has announced the closure of Virgin Money Giving, taking effect on 30 November 2021. The closure is unwelcome news for many of us in the UK charity sector and it raises important questions about the viability of donation platforms in the face of competition from other payment methods.

The good news for charities is that there are now lots of ways to collect donations:

But, for those of you who would like to continue using fundraising platforms because of the features and support they offer, here are your options from Charity Digital: https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/the-best-online-fundraising-platforms-for-charities-5324 

and an interesting podcast on the subject that’s worth a listen https://charitydigital.org.uk/podcasts/podcast-virgin-money-giving-and-the-future-of-fundraising-platforms

Add a heading

Why do I need a charity newsletter?

Nonprofit newsletters get some of the best average open rates in email marketing (26%). Newsletters provide important opportunities to showcase the work you do, make appeals for donations and other support and raise awareness of the problems your charity tackles. Use your newsletter to connect with donors and volunteers, encouraging them to take action.

Email drives more charitable donations than any other online channel. 42% of donors prefer to hear from causes they support by email, 20% of donors said that emails made them more likely to donate again and 69% of subscribers said they were more likely to donate after receiving an appeal for a specific need.

Everyone gets more emails than they can ever read. A typical email receives no more than 15 seconds of attention – so make yours stand out. Use images, a good subject line and engaging opening paragraph. If a reader is not interested at the opening of your newsletter, they won’t read what comes later.

What else should you do?

  • ensure that your newsletter can be read on a mobile device.
  • personalise (use recipient names)
  • all non-profit newsletters should include a call to action – usually a request for donations, volunteers or an ask to social share
  • keep text to a minimum and focus on 1-5 stories or calls-to-action
  • have your donate button and social media icons at the top of the newsletter
  • enable social sharing
  • use images and video screenshots linking to your website or YouTube
  • send on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday – avoid Mondays and Fridays

Finally, remember you cannot email anyone without their permission, but you can build your email list by:

  • have a subscribe button on your website
  • promote through conversations with supporters
  • run a specific list building social media campaign
  • offer donors the option to subscribe in thank you messages

Subscribe to our e-news here!

More reading:

https://getanewsletter.com/en/blog/newsletter-introduction-examples-how-to-write-catchy-intros-for-your-newsletters/

http://www.thestorytellingnonprofit.com/blog/5-non-profit-newsletters-to-learn-from/

https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/campaigns/communications/e-newsletters

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/everything-you-need-to-know-about-email-marketing-software-8734?

charity website

What does a good charity website look like?

The best charity websites are kind to users – not overloading them with choices or too much text, and instead making calls to action obvious and ensuring that users can easily find further information as needed. Here are our top tips to improve your site:

  • Give your website visitors what they want! Make your home page menu clear with no more than 6 options. Users need to be able to find what they need quickly so make your messages clear and concise to avoid overwhelming users with too much information. Guide Dogs is a great example of a clear, user friendly website with https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/
  • Be clear what your charity does, how website visitors can support you and what support means to the lives of your beneficiaries. Charity Water does this really well https://www.charitywater.org/uk
  • Use images for instant impact – donors respond to campaigns that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary. Care International UK has faces of beneficiaries on every page https://www.careinternational.org.uk/fighting-poverty
  • Make sure your website is device appropriate. You must consider how it’s being viewed on smart phones, iPads and tablets. Comic Relief looks good on all devices https://www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday
  • Payment or sign-up processes should be as simple as possible. Not too many steps to complete and don’t ask for unnecessary information in long winded forms.

More reading:

What Makes a Good Charity Website?

https://www.theukdomain.uk/what-makes-a-great-charity-website/

gaming for good (1)

Gaming for Good

Gaming and livestreaming were already big before the pandemic struck but participation has really taken off.  This is good news for charities because it gives us a new avenue for fundraising that appeals the generous Generation Z.

The idea may seem strange but gaming fundraisers are popular and effective https://fundraising.co.uk/2021/02/03/6-successful-gaming-for-good-livestreaming-campaigns/

How does it work?

Gamers share game playing with their friends and other gamers, who tune in to watch the game in action. This is called streaming and there are there are several platforms dedicated to gaming, the most popular is called Twitch, which was built specifically for streaming games. The gamer adds a donate buttons to their stream – like a donate button on a charity website which links to the gamer’s fundraising page on a donation platform like JustGiving.

By hosting a donate button on screen, gamers engage their audience into making donations in return for gaming activity. A gamer could host a 24-hour gaming marathon or they could host a tournament with other gamers.

If you want your charity to run or help run a gaming fundraiser, try reaching out to local gaming communities or looking for gaming events that have occurred in your area. Maybe someone on your  charity team (volunteer/supporter/member of staff) has a passion for video games, and they can help organise hosting or participating in a gaming fundraiser. Look for gamers who might be interested in your cause https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/gaming-for-good-how-to-find-gamers-9003

More Reading:

Top tips for successful livestreaming and gaming for good

Just Giving Gaming

How to Get Started with Gaming Fundraising

Fundraising on Twitch

 

Copy of Copy of LEGACY FUNRAISING IS

Legacy Fundraising in 5 steps

March is Free Wills Month. More than half of UK adults don’t have a will and this month it’s possible to get a solicitor-written will in return for a small charity donation.

The publicity behind this campaign and Remember a Charity Week later in the year, is a great way for you to introduce/promote a legacy option in your fundraising messages. Here are the fundamentals to get you started:

  1. change the narrative because legacies are not about death – a gift to charity makes a lasting difference, not only for the next generation but for future generations https://stephenwgeorge.com/10-of-the-best-words-to-use-in-legacy-fundraising/2
  2. make it normal by including legacy fundraising in your everyday supporter conversations, emails and charity literature and on your website https://legacyvoice.co.uk/legacy-fundraising-tip-drip-your-legacy-message/
  3. tell stories to help your supporters see the difference their #legacy gift will make and include in all your charity fundraising marketing materials  https://www.goodworksco.ca/upon-time-telling-perfect-legacy-gift-story/
  4. make it easy for your supporters to find the information on your website or ask you a question https://blog.justgiving.com/5-charities-with-stand-out-online-legacy-fundraising
  5. watch the video from Directory of Social Change https://youtu.be/wmY4T57GvAM

Remember that as fundraisers you should be aware of the law – the Fundraising Regulator has the specifics regarding legacies https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/code/specific-fundraising-methods/legacies

DEMENTIA

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

The number of people with dementia in the UK is estimated at 850,000.

There are around 540,000 carers of people with dementia in England. Approximately one in three of us will care for a person with dementia in our lifetime.

In our community are a number of small charities supporting people with dementia and their carers.

You can help them by becoming a volunteer or by making a donation:

Spelthorne Dementia Support

Dementia Carers Support Runnymede

Alzheimer Cafe Camberley

Action for Carers Surrey

15 sec without words

The 15 Second Bounce

Charities must diversify their fundraising strategy, raise their digital profile, increase their supporter base and generate online donations – an out of date website and ignoring social media is not an option.

Your website should be the centre of your communications. Visitors to your site are interested in the people you help, how you help them and how they can get involved.

Please remember that donors fund people not organisations.

You have 15 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention – this is called the 15 second bounce. In those 15 seconds you must stir emotion, empathy and invite engagement.

Menu Options: You should have no more than 5 menu options with short, call to action words:

About    Get Help    Get Involved   Contact Us   Donate

Mission statement: The message on your home page must be simple and immediate ‘We’re ending homelessness and rebuilding lives’

Fundraising: It must be obvious to the donor who you are fundraising for. Donors and funders will check your site to see what you do with your money. Tell beneficiary stories and have project pages with images and totals raised. Keep pages and interest fresh by updating regularly.

Donations: Your donate button should be in the top right of your website and visible on every page. The button should be a different colour from other menu options. No more than 3 clicks to donate from anywhere on your site. Where possible offer different donation values and tell the donor what their money buys.

Tell Stories and Use Images: Site visitors want to hear about real people and their lives. They want to hear stories and quotes from volunteers and beneficiaries about how your intervention improves lives and makes a difference. If you have vulnerable beneficiaries, try copying the image creativity of larger charities to get around the problem of showing faces. Don’t bury your stories deep in the website – they should be easy to find.

Calls to Action: Every web page, email, Tweet, Facebook post should have a call to action – donate, volunteer, contact, support, sign up, share.

Mobile Friendly: Google penalises websites which don’t display well on mobiles or tablets. In 2018 25% of all online donations were made on a mobile.

What are you for? Who do you benefit? Where are they? Show faces and tell stories. You have 15 seconds before I bounce.

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