2022 may not have been quite as turbulent as recent, unprecedented years, but it certainly hasn’t been without its challenges. The cost of living crisis, the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, three prime ministers in two months and a war in the Ukraine. All have had a huge impact on our campaigns and strategic fundraising priorities this year.
But despite the challenging context, the number of people donating to charity hasn’t been impacted in the way many of us would have expected. According to Donor Pulse’s latest giving report, the number of people giving to charity has remained steady for the second quarter in a row.
In fact, three quarters of the public have donated in the last three months – an increase of four percentage points from this time last year. And unsurprisingly, the cause that has seen the most growth over the last nine months is poverty as the UK consciousness remains focused on inflation and the cost of living crisis.
An interesting shift in fundraising trends that we’re seeing this year is the increase in younger regular givers. In the Donor Pulse Autumn report, Enthuse found that Gen Z were the generation with the second highest proportion of regular givers at 32%. The general downward trend in regular giving, especially with the over 65s age group, is continuing – so there’s a real opportunity here for charities to look at engaging younger audiences as part of a longer term strategy.
About a third of the UK have said they’re going to stop or cut back on donating to charity because of the cost of living crisis. And what’s more is 61% say it’s going to be a bit or much harder to donate. But only 13% of regular givers are considering changing or stopping their donations – so it looks like the most dedicated givers are committed to helping charities weather the storm.
What does all this mean for the way ahead? Well, it’s going to be increasingly challenging to recruit new, committed givers. Supporter cultivation and retention need to be top of the agenda and we’ll need to find new ways to engage new audiences.
As we look ahead at fundraising trends in 2023, there are three focus areas that we think will help charities do just that.
Now is not the time to stop investing in new and existing donors. But it is a good time to think strategically about the breadth of your portfolio.
Planning for the new financial year gives charities a great opportunity to take a look at their fundraising portfolio and figure out where to stop, start and continue investing. We like using a Growth Share Market Matrix for this – it’s a really useful way to map out your current products and carefully consider the place of any new products or opportunities.
Investing time into understanding your audiences and donor needs is vital to making your fundraising a success. Look at the kind of content your audience engages with at every stage of their journey. How can you make your products and communications more relevant to them? What kind of value can you offer to their lives? How does your cause align with their motivations?
So much insight on giving shows that people often prefer to give cash donations. This is often because they can make informed decisions about where and when they choose to donate. But more than this, people want transparency and flexibility.
As a matter of fact, we recently saw Save the Children launch a new giving product, True Impact which demonstrates this really well. The product allows you to learn exactly when and where your gift (even just £5) has been spent. We think it’s a great example of shaping a product to fit donor needs, combatting donor scepticism and building trusting relationships.
The social and giving landscapes are ever-changing. Over the past few years, we’ve seen staggering changes in fundraising trends across social. The most noticeable being TikTok almost eclipsing established channels like Facebook, huge growth in the streaming and gaming fundraising market (view our Mind streaming campaign) and audience loyalty shifting from brands to influencers.
It’s often tempting to jump on whatever new trend is emerging. But it’s so important to start by understanding the audiences, communities and platforms and where your cause sits within them.
Mapping out specific content strategies will help you navigate the unwritten rules and trends of each platform and engage more authentically with users to connect them to your cause.
So, how are you feeling heading into 2023? What will you be focusing on?
If you’d like to talk about how we can help you shape your fundraising or marketing strategy for 2023, feel free to email Hannah (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free 30-minute strategy clinic.