The Charities Aid Foundation recently released its latest annual report on the state of charitable giving in the UK and it showed reasons to be hopeful, along with some key indications that continued innovation in the charitable giving sector will be crucial now and in the future.
The total amount given rose to £10.3b, which is fabulous news. It seems that the UK’s generosity stays resistant to the odd banking crisis, overseas charity scandal and (sometimes aggressive) media scrutiny of giving platforms. The trust the UK public has in the causes we cherish is nothing short of inspirational. It fills me with a warm, fuzzy feeling, anyway.
However, there are some things to note that mean we could be approaching a tipping point for traditional methods of charitable giving. Even though the amount given to charity rose, this was driven by fewer people giving more. The CAF says that it’s too early to tell if this is a trend. But, when you couple that fact with the data that suggests the number of people who gave via direct donations or through sponsoring someone decreased, it reminds me just how important innovation in giving really is. Are people getting bored with the same old ideas for raising money? Will the next generation of fundraisers be satisfied with traditional, static and boring online fundraising pages that replaced the paper sponsorship form of the pre-Internet era?
We’re all continually connecting more of our personal lives to apps, websites and wearable technology (largely for our own amusement). You only have to look at the number of apps on the smartphone you are likely using to read this blog to remind yourself just how pervasive this behavior is. The problem is that in the main, charities aren’t present around these apps, platforms and brands, even though their current and future supporters are. Forget Facebook (as more people are by the day, at the time of writing) and look to Twitch, Strava, Musical.ly and Nextdoor for hints that doubling down on just one or two platforms means charities could be sleepwalking into irrelevance with the next generation of loyal supporters they crave.
It has never been more important to ensure the charity sector looks for ways to inspire people with new ideas. People in the UK obviously love to commit both the time to undertake innovative fundraising challenges, as well as donate money to support good causes. So, let’s lean in to innovation, be present where people are online and connect more to giving to ensure next year’s UK Giving Report keeps us all feeling warm and fuzzy!
If you work for a charity and would like to learn more about how Connected Giving could be a BIG part of the future of online fundraising, take a look here: https://home.givepenny.com/for-charities/