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By Jo Mason • January 17, 2019

Five reasons your current giving platform just won't cut the mustard.

Five reasons your current giving platform just won't cut the mustard.

1. Functionality

Regardless of cost, brand, format or design, traditional giving platforms today all provide charities with the same basic function - securely processing one-off donations, online, and collecting Gift Aid on their behalf. 

Granted this was pretty high tech at the beginning of the millennia - but we are almost twenty years down the line and it’s hardly ground-breaking stuff anymore. In fact, the majority of charities will have the exact same functionality built in to their own websites. So doesn't it beg the question- when is someone going to make this better? 

2. Diversity

The expenditure of non-profits have been scrutinised to the point of inertia. Often, innovation equates to risk. And this is bad news when it comes to giving our supporters something genuinely inspiring.

Whether it’s a fundraising event, a month long challenge or an undefined campaign - the need to turn an immediate profit has left the industry with a seeming paralysis to try anything new. There is usually somebody somewhere up the food chain who is scared of trying new ideas. Don’t be that guy.

Let me break it down to you - you cannot attract new audiences with old gigs.

Whilst bake sales, sponsored walks and coffee mornings all have a valid place in the charity world they should not be taking centre stage in 2019…. you need to think bigger!

What was the last innovative challenge you launched for your supporters? If there isn’t at least 3 fundraisers you trialled last year, it’s probably time to review what platform you’re using, why you’re using it and get yourself into a position to galvanise current and would be supporters alike by launching something that actually excites them.

3. Are your ‘Challenges’ still challenging?

Have you ever donated to a friend taking on a charity challenge? We all know someone close to us who has bitten the bullet and decided to conquer something for a worthy cause - perhaps they plan to conquer the 3 Peaks, or cycle from London to Paris. What a challenge! What a fete! So we cheer them on, donate generously, laugh and celebrate their sweaty red face when they reach the top of their third mountain or drag themselves over the finish line somewhere in France. 

For as impressive as this was in year one, by the fourth time round we have to admit it's lost some of it 'je ne sais quoi'. Repeated success of the same challenge makes the accomplishment intrinsically less impressive. That’s not to say we can’t fundraise by doing what we love – but let’s be honest, challenges are not meant to be an excuse to whip out the Lycra and show off your squat results.

In short, challenges are meant to be tough! We want blood sweat and tears. If your challenges are growing stagnant, it’s time to shake them up, probably with the help of some technology. Take a look at some of GivePenny's challenges  and get inspired!

4. Why abstinence fundraising isn’t fun and why no one talks about it

Normally, supporters face a painfully long 30 day challenge before they receive any gratification, so it’s not surprising we see high drop off rates, next to no connectivity between supporters and donors and ultimately, less of a buzz resulting in less money raised for the cause.  The idea of giving up something we love in the name of charity is an ancient tradition. For years chocolate, alcohol, smoking and coffee have been among the nations favourite treats to boycott in the name of a good cause.

However, giving up something we enjoy is often a lonely, insular journey. And unless you’re an addiction or lifestyle charity, it’s probably got 0 connection to your cause. Instead of asking people to give up something they enjoy for the cause, ask them to support you by supporting something else they love. You will notice the difference. Why not game for 135 minutes? 24 hours? Any amount of time you feel comfortable with - check out our Level up for Shelter campaign and see just how much money you can raise in a couple of hours.

5. Have we lost the human connection?

Do you remember the days when donations were collected in person? Usually by knocking the door of your next door neighbours or rallying around the office, classroom, staffroom, pub etc. But universally, these human interactions lead us to explain EVERYTHING about the cause, the challenge and exactly how hard you’d worked to get where you are?  Whilst traditional platforms have nailed the art of processing donations, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to substituting the heart of it, giving people that human connection.

Supporters deserve a platform that showcases every step of their fundraising journey.  From why they have chosen to take on that particular fundraiser, what their personal affiliation to the cause is and then how they are getting on with each step of their journey.

When we provide our supporters with the tools to share feelings, motivations, updates, photos etc we don’t just get spread awareness and create a buzz - we raise more money! And I promise, when you give facilitate expressing the WHY of your supporters, it will evolve your supporter base, too!
 
So if your giving platform is just a donation process - you need to revise your choices. Traditional platforms are too one dimensional to cater for the diverse wants and needs of your supporters, and they deserve better.

Enough with all of this don't do this, do that, blah blah blah. Sign up and see for yourself how you can better the way you fundraise through GivePenny.

Register your cause to accept fundraising through GivePenny by visiting www.home.givepenny.com/for-charities