Despite any economic uncertainty brought about by Brexit and a general election, 2019 was a bumper year for the charity sector. In 2019, UK charities enjoyed an annual income of £50 billion for the first time ever – showing that generosity is still very much a part of life in modern Britain.
The money charities rely on is generated in many ways, but one that can’t be ignored is the traditional high street charity collector, with an estimated worth of £320 million annualy.
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing about a new era of social distancing, could this well-established method of raising money be maintained?
How social distancing could change the way charities raise funds
According to the NCVO, charities stood to lose some £4 billion during the initial 12 weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. Although the UK government has announced a support package of £750 million for charities, this still leaves a considerable shortfall at a time when communities and individuals need the help.
Social distancing likely to remain in place for some time, whether in the form of a distance between people or changes to the infrastructure. For charities, this could mean fewer fundraising events and more online marketing. Social distancing could even spell the end of cash donations as we know them, given that handing over cash is riskier.
Charity fundraising ideas for after COVID-19
The coronavirus has had a significant impact on almost all areas of life in the UK and just like for-profit businesses, charities will need to adapt to survive. This means finding new innovative ways of working.
As with many other areas of modern life, charity starts online. Since 2000, the online-based fundraiser ”JustGiving” has seen over £3.5 billion worth of donations pass through its platform. As coronavirus empties highstreets and sees more of us online, it seems logical that much of the footfall charities rely on could move online.
Socially Distant Events
Public fundraisers, concerts and galas are unlikely to disappear from the charity landscape completely. With charities currently unable to host mass gatherings under COVID-19 measures, online events streamed to wider audiences could be the answer. A vital aspect of charitable giving is the engagement between charities and their patrons – some creativity is vital for maintenance.
How can charity fundraising sites get more donations?
With a new focus on digital fundraising, it makes sense for charities to invest into their online presence. For one thing, charities should ensure that their websites are as clear and compelling as possible to inspire trust among potential donors. Whilst a lot of this will involve tweaking website designs, it is important to remember the underlying systems that make the site work.
A common criticism of charities is that online donations are not straightforward: the simpler this is the more donations they could receive. One company offering a solution is UTP Group. They help companies and charities to implement eCommerce and Virtual Terminals which make it easy for others to pay online.
By equipping donors with the tools for quick and easy online donation, organisations could make their charity fundraising more effective than ever before.
How to make charity fundraising safe
Despite finding digital solutions to the problems of COVID-19 is all well and good, but it’s important not to neglect traditional methods of fundraising. Members of older generations are some of the most generous and they are also less likely to be comfortable with making a payment over the internet. To continue attracting their donations, charities will need to update their high street collection methods to work post-pandemic.
One way of post-COVID adaptations is to invest in a robust contactless payment solution. Contactless payments are already well-established across the UK’s retail premises and have become even more popular during the coronavirus pandemic. Providing a secure service that is identical to that of their in-store counterparts, UTP also offer a range of portable card readers. These could help fundraisers to collect money on the street without worrying about contamination from cash.
Moving with the times and donors
As we move forward out of lockdown yet towards a more socially distant society, it is vital for charities to keep up with the times. Donors concern should be high on their list of priorities as COVID-19 could prevent the public from donating.
In the short term, charities may need to make their peace with smaller donations – but as time goes on, they could find that adapting their model reaps rewards.
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