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

 

Text to give

Text to Give – Donations by Phone

When did you last pick up your mobile phone?

When did you last use your phone to pay for something?

84% of the UK now own a smartphone – putting the internet in their pocket. On average people spend 2 hours and 34 minutes online on their smartphones every day. People can browse the internet, shop, view social media and download apps that allow them to do endless tasks.

It’s not new, but the text-to-give process might be the answer for those charities looking for a safe, hygienic giving method that follows social distancing rules. It’s a good option for donors too because it’s quick, they use their own phones and they don’t need to enter credit card information. Charities set up custom keywords preset to a specific donation amount and accept donations in a few quick steps.

£50 million was given in text donations in 2019, making it a serious fundraising contender as more and more people become comfortable using their phones to make payments.

To get started you need a text to donate service provider – have a look at the t&cs of DonrDonate or instaGiv for more information.

https://merchantmachine.co.uk/digital-wallet/

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/topics/the-best-uk-charity-text-donation-services-5632

https://www.whitefuse.com/blog/text-to-donate-giving

https://snowballfundraising.com/text-to-give-guide/#basics

https://www.nptechforgood.com/2021/08/01/how-to-effectively-share-text-to-donate-campaigns-on-social-media/

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

Christmas fundraising campaigns

Christmas Fundraising Campaigns

Sorry to mention the ‘C’ word but if you haven’t started already, it is time to plan and launch your Christmas fundraising campaign.

Christmas inspires people to give and 18% of all charitable giving takes place in December. The most popular month to start Christmas campaigns is November so now is the time to set goals, plan your message with great stories and supporting data, identify your channels and get it out there.

We’ve put together some of the best seasonal guides and blogs for ideas and inspiration – good luck!

Send a charity e-card from Virgin Giving to allow supporters to send e-Christmas cards and then donate you the money they saved on cards and stamps

Six Creative Ideas for a Christmas campaign from Third Sector

Christmas fundraising ideas from Charity Excellence

How to create a great end-of-year campaign message infographic

Everything you wanted to know about Christmas campaigns from Virgin Giving

Wild Apricot’s ultimate guide to year end giving

End of year giving toolkit from Blackbaud

Move Your End of Year Event Online

How to organise a virtual Christmas party for your supporters

Use your Christmas fundraising to better engage your supporters and turn one-off involvement into ongoing support in 2021 and please remember to thank everyone who supports you.

virtual

Top Tips on Organising a Virtual Event

The biggest barrier to participation in a virtual fundraising event are the mechanics of how to get involved.
Here are our 4 top tips on how to organise a virtual event and make it easy for your supporters:
1. Have simple instructions and a central place to sign up and get information. Ideally, a page on your website dedicated to the event and using a tool like Eventbrite.
2. One of the best things about fundraising events is being with people who support the same cause as you. Help participants interact with one another on social media by creating event hashtags and by posting supporter stories on your website event page.
3. Create a fundraising toolkit for your participants, including things like graphics, ideas for social posts or emails, and tips for setting up a personal fundraising page.
4. The biggest benefit of taking your event online is that your fundraiser can last all year. Rather than having one set date for the event, supporters can now sign up to do a virtual walk anytime, making this one-off fundraising opportunity work all year-round.
seo-1288976_1280

SEO to increase website visitors and donors

Search Engine Optimisation helps your website perform better in search engines like Google.

SEO is important because good SEO practices improve the usability of your web site and your visitor’s user experience. You’ll get discovered by the right people more often, allowing you to grow your base of supporters and donors.

Users trust search engines – if your site is in at the top of a search for the keywords used by your visitors, they will have more trust in your site.

Many small charities face 2 problems – not enough website visitors and the ones who find you are not engaged enough to stay.

So how can you improve your SEO?

  • Regularly updated, quality, relevant content
  • Identify and use your target keywords
  • Use Google Search Console
  • Use Google Analytics
  • Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Use a plugin like Yoast
  • Fix 404s

The higher your google ranking, the easier your website will be to find. You’ll attract more visitors and persuade them to donate and support you with an interesting and attractive, navigable site – easy!

https://analytics.google.com/analytics/academy/course/6

https://truenorthsocial.com/seo/how-to-choose-seo-keywords-for-your-business/

https://search.google.com/search-console/about

https://www.quicksprout.com/best-seo-plugins-for-wordpress/

https://www.classy.org/blog/7-seo-tips-nonprofit-cant-afford-ignore/

https://charitydigital.org.uk/topics/10-essential-charity-seo-tips-to-get-your-website-found3-6168

https://whitefuse.com/blog/7-steps-mastering-seo-your-charity-website

social proof fb

Use Social Proof

The Rule of Social Proof: ‘If others are doing it, it must be the right thing to do.’

92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of marketing. People care about what others think and you can use that to attract new donors and supporters.

Tell the stories of your beneficiaries and supporters in text and pictures. A good story will spark emotion and empathy in your reader and persuade them to answer the call to action on your donate page. Images in the online world increase engagement by 313%. Not everything can be expressed with words, but nearly everything can be explained with visuals. Pictures help us relate to content, which will increase credibility and trust in your cause.

Use numbers on your website donation page. Show the number of people who have already given or who have fundraised for you to motivate visitors to donate. Tell your readers your total so far if you have a target amount to raise, this inspires them to help you reach your goal.

If you’ve received positive mentions from credible media sources, influencers or publications, put them on your website as well as key quotes from experts. Don’t forget to include social media buttons on your website pages to demonstrate broad support for your organisation and so people can easily share your content.

The internet has made social proof a powerful way to influence social behaviours.  By building and increasing the visibility of social proof for your cause, you more clearly demonstrate the value of your organisation to prospective donors and fundraisers.

https://zapier.com/blog/power-of-empathy/

https://www.globalgiving.org/learn/listicle/photography-tips-for-fundraising/

 

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