How to enhance your charity’s digital strategy

24 April 2019

Charities that fundraise online make donations easier, quicker and more accessible to more people. The internet provides more than just an avenue for fundraising.

Business laptop meeting

Charities online can:

  • make gains operationally
  • decrease costs
  • aid collaboration
  • increase awareness
  • engage with a broader audience in new ways.
Your charity’s existing infrastructures may not align with some digital methods, so while there are opportunities it’s vital to manage the risks too.

Digital tips for charities

There are both opportunities and risks for charities embracing a digital strategy. 

1. Check the Fundraising Code’s section on Digital Media

This has been designed specifically for charities to give ‘best practice’ advice on digital fundraising and will help you identify the must-have information you need to provide to your audience. 

2. Make your website mobile friendly

In 2018, 52% of all website traffic worldwide was generated from mobile phones1. Your charity’s website should be easy to use and show the relevant regulatory information on all devices.

3. Always celebrate a donation

Thanking your donors is just as important online. Make sure you follow up donations with a well thought out email or ‘thank you page’ to make them feel good about themselves and encourage future contributions.

4. Benefit from Google Ad Grants

If you use Google AdWords, you can apply for a Google Ad Grant. Fill out the application and make sure your charity’s website is eligible and you could win a grant to spend on Google advertising.

5. Sign up to Amazon Smile

All UK charities can sign up to Amazon’s affiliate marketing service. Smile.amazon.co.uk allows Amazon customers to opt-in to donate to their chosen charity when they make an eligible purchase on Amazon. They will experience the same shopping experience, they will pay no more than usual but Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price to charity. 

All charities have to do is sign up. All customers have to do is select the charity in their account options and use the smile URL when placing an order. 

6. Build your audience

Most mainstream social media channels are free to use and give you access to potential donors. Skills Platform have created the Charity Social Media Toolkit which offers a whole host of useful information on topics from getting started, to growing your network. 

7. Collaborate

Is there an opportunity to work with another organisation? Digital collaboration can help get ideas off the ground through the sharing of goals, responsibilities and skills. A joint approach can also spread your message further via social media sharing and promotion on other websites. Read more about collaboration.

8. Secure data

Data must be adequately protected. Your organisation should take measures to ensure data security as the first line of defence. You can read more about the steps you can take to keep your charity safe online in our charity cyber guide.

9. Think carefully before sharing data

Check the GDPR requirements on personal or sensitive data to understand how you can safely manage and share data. 

10. Get insurance

A data breach can cost organisations up to £113 per record in the event of a data breach2. It’s advisable to purchase cyber insurance so you have financial support and advice in case of an attack.

11. Give your supporters ideas about how they can contribute in small ways

Getting involved doesn’t always mean asking for money. Encouraging supporters to share your message will help to create awareness, generate more donations and increase engagement with your charity.

12. Give people the option to tell you how they would like to be contacted

If you break down the different ways you might approach a person in the future, you may find people don’t mind an email but prefer not to be contacted by phone or vice-versa.

13. Carry out a risk management assessment and create contingency plans for worst-case scenarios

If digital fundraising is a new venture for your charity, it’s vital you understand the risks and address them in the first instance. Specialist insurers like Ecclesiastical can often provide tools to help you, visit our risk management hub.

14. Charity funding for new websites

Transform Foundation gives grants to charities to support the build of a new website. They seek to support charities that, through increased website functionality, will be able to make considerable strides towards meeting their charitable objectives. 

The charity will need to demonstrate that it has a robust strategy for the website and have clear measures to determine what success looks like for your charity. 
 
You can explore a range of topics impacting the charity sector in our charity white paper