Lockdown has seen two-thirds (67%) of charities surveyed by Rapidata change the way they communicate with supporters, with use of digital rising sharply and 49% saying they expect to continue using channels they hadn’t used before in the future.
The findings are among those revealed in a new report from Rapidata, released today during Fundraising Convention.
For the report, Rapidata questioned charities on their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, specifically around regular giving and how they had adapted their fundraising.
It found that, among the charities surveyed, communications saw a general shift from donor acquisition to supporter stewardship, with a big rise in the use of digital, and increased impact reporting and thanking.
Key survey findings:
- 67% of charity respondents changed how they communicate with regular giving supporters during lockdown.
Use of digital: 71% increased their use of social media, followed by email (62%), online advertising and online virtual events (both 46%). The latter also saw the biggest increase in first time use, at 16% of respondents.
- A quarter (24%) increased their use of the telephone to thank supporters and reinvigorate relationships.
Social media, additional impact reporting and thank you mailings were the top three activities used to tackle attrition.
- Almost a quarter of charities (24%) pre-empted cancellations by offering payment options such as skipping a month, taking a holiday or reducing their gift.
- The most successful channels for recruiting regular supporters during lockdown were social media, email and online advertising,
- The most successful channels for stewardship were email, direct mail, and telephone.
- Almost half (49%) expect to continue using channels they hadn’t used before lockdown.
75% expect to continue their increased use of digital.
- Barriers to digital uptake remain: 23% would like to make more use of digital but lack the skills or resources, while 17% are impeded by lack of budget.
Survey responses were received from 87 charities of all sizes. The highest proportion came from London and the South East, followed by Midlands and South West, with causes ranging from children and young people, to hospices, religious causes, animal welfare, and the environment.
As well as asking participants to share how they reacted to lockdown, and to the initial recovery phase of lockdown easing, Rapidata also asked about the strategies implemented to drive donations, mitigate attrition and protect regular giving income, and for their thoughts on the future of regular giving.
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Source: UK Fundraising