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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charities shun internet for direct mail

This news post is over 8 years old

​Charities still spend bulk of their advertising budgets on direct mail, shunning more modern methods such as the internet

UK charities still spend the bulk of their advertising budgets on direct mail.

Research consultancy nfpSynergy analysed charity advertising spend over the past eight years discovering that, last year, charities spent £238.9 million of a total £400m on mail delivered through letterboxes.

Overall charities’ advertising budgets are growing and now represent 2.9% of the UK market which was worth almost £14 billion in 2013.

Is this because charities are way behind in terms of technology?

It is forecast to hit £14.7bn this year.

Direct mail remains a contentious marketing method for charities. Complaints about charities using direct marketing such as direct mail, telephone and doorstep fundraising spiralled last year, according to the annual complaints report compiled by the Fundraising Standards Board.

The nfpSynergy research found charities spent just 2% of the total on internet ads, which has barely risen since 2006 when it was 1%.

This goes against the rest of the industry where internet advertising across all sectors has increased from 16.9% in 2006 to 45.7% last year.

It is forecast to reach almost 50% this year.

Spending by charities on TV ads increased to 20% to £77.1m, in 2013, from 7.8% in 2006.

Other spending such as radio 3%, press 9% and outdoor 2% remains much the same for charities.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said: “What is also interesting is that although charities are increasing their spending on TV, they continue to resist internet advertising when it continues to boom in other sectors.

“Is this because charities are way behind in terms of technology?

“Or is internet advertising an extravagant use of money for few benefits and charities are just more frugal?”



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