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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Charities change how they communicate data shows

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Changing ways of giving revealed

Lockdown has seen two-thirds of charities change the way they communicate with supporters, according to a new survey.

A survey by Rapidata shows new insights into charities’ experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, looking specifically at regular giving and asking how they adapted their fundraising.

It found the use of digital channels by third sector organisations skyrocketed with 71% of respondents increasing their use of social media and 62% email.

Online events saw the biggest increase in first-time use, and traditional channels of telephone and mail also saw use greatly increased, with in-person fundraising activities out of action.

As well as revealing the extent to which lockdown measures have accelerated charities’ use of digital channels, with 75% expecting to continue this increased use, the report finds that barriers to digital uptake still impede some.

Findings highlight the need for digital transformation to be written into every charity’s strategy.

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.

Scott Gray, Rapidata lead said: “The past few months have been wrought with challenges for the charity sector. Although it’s been immensely encouraging to find regular supporters mostly sticking with their chosen charities despite their own difficulties. And to see charities themselves innovating and adjusting their strategies to reach out and deepen those vital relationships.

“To protect regular giving for the future, an increased and dedicated focus on supporter centricity and strategic diversification will be essential. Part this is innovative approaches coupled with greater investment in digital transformation.

"While we all hope to avoid another pandemic, what’s certain is that other crises and recessions will occur. It’s critical then that charities prepare for this by learning from others’ experiences and taking action to mitigate future risk.”