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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

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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?

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Digital Fundraising

Digital fundraising is simply fundraising online using digital technology. Alongside traditional fundraising, digital techniques should now be part of your fundraising strategy.

90% of adults in the UK are internet users and 80% have a smartphone which they use to browse the internet. We spend an average of 24 hours per week online, using a mobile for phone calls is only considered important by 75% of smartphone users, compared to 92% who consider web browsing to be more important. This is an audience of 48 million people to whom you can tell the story of your organisation and ask for support.

These statistics should convince even the most sceptical and techno-phobic trustees that your organisation need a digital fundraising option. There a number of online channels you can use to fundraise:

  • Website – your website is a window to your organisation and should set out your cause and impact. The site should have a clear donate button and allow donors to easily and securely make donations.
  • Giving Platforms – depending on your website traffic and finances you can choose from a number of different options – have a look the options
  • Social Media – use your social media platforms to promote your organisation, tell stories of your beneficiaries and ask for donations. Facebook and Instagram now allow donations to be made directly to UK charities without fees.
  • Donate As You Spend – There are a number of different schemes – Amazon Smile and Give As You Live are just 2 ways for your supporters to raise funds for your charity through everyday online shopping

Throughout the year we run fundraising training open to local voluntary organisations, covering the subject in greater detail and offering ideas and information on adding digital to your fundraising strategy.

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Fundraise with Instagram

Last week Instagram announced that eligible UK charities and supporters can now raise money for their charity on Instagram using donation stickers. The great news is that like Facebook, 100% of the money raised using the Instagram donation sticker goes to your organisation.

To be eligible to receive donations through donation stickers your UK registered charity must:

  1. Register with Facebook to use its charitable giving tools (to use donation stickers your charity must be approved to accept Facebook payments)
  2. Link your Instagram profile to your organisations Facebook page
  3. Convert your Instagram profile to a business profile

Once you’ve completed these steps, your organisation’s Instagram account is eligible to be fundraised for on Instagram Stories.

Now you can create your own Instagram photos/stories about your cause and add a donate sticker for your charity. You can also ask your supporters to do the same on their Instagram stories and photos to raise money for you.

It’s a straightforward process:

  1. Take a photo or video using your Instagram account
  2. Tap the sticker icon in the top of phone screen

  1. Selection the DONATION sticker from the options

  1. Select your charity from the list displayed
  2. Tap Send to and then Share with your friends

Facebook has made suggestions on best practices for using Instagram donate stickers:

Kick start your donation story with photos and video of what your cause is and why it matters and what the donations will help to accomplish. Use the creative tools to make it visual and post donate sticker in lots of stories for exposure. Keep people up to date with your campaign with milestones and achievements. Finally, use the highlight feature to pin your story to your profile so that your supporters have access to your donation story for more than 24 hours.

For those of you new to Instagram here’s a couple of links to help you get started:

How to get started on Instagram

Creating an Instagram story

 

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Fundraising with Facebook and Instagram

Many of you have active Facebook pages, I see you online every day, but a surprising number of you are not using the fundraising capability that Facebook offers registered UK charities. There are lots of reasons why you should:

  • It’s easy!
  • All the funds raised on your page are all yours – no fees.
  • Facebook has one of the largest online social communities where you can reach hundreds of your supporters and potential supporters every day.
  • Your supporters can set up a dedicated fundraising page to promote your cause and rally their friends around a fundraising goal.
  • Donors can make a donation without leaving your Facebook page.
  • You can sign up to receive donations automatically through Facebook Payments and get paid biweekly based on when donations are received.
  • Use Facebook ads for relatively small fees to target your campaign to a particular location – especially useful for small local charities.
  • Learn about who is making a donation to your cause by accessing contact information of donors who have opted in.
  • Use Facebook Insights to analyse and engage better with your audience
  • Make Facebook donate button an addition (not a replacement) to your fundraising strategy

It’s worth noting for those of you with an Instagram platform, on May 1st, 2019 Instagram in the US followed in the steps of its parent Facebook and added a way for users to easily donate to nonprofits. Similar to Facebook’s donation button, Instagram covers 100% of credit card/processing fees for nonprofits that are officially US registered charities approved by Facebook.

The date of the UK Instagram donate launch has not yet been announced, although its rumoured it will take place later this year.

https://www.facebook.com/donate/signup

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