With 2015 well and truly behind us, it’s time to look at the year ahead. On the surface, fundraising for charities was the same old - with social media, mass-participation events and a focus on digital donations being the standard mix for fundraising initiatives we saw last year.
But behind the scenes, a range of technological advancements and new tools mean that there are some vital trends that charities need to address early in 2016 otherwise risk being left behind by more innovative, forward thinking charities.
Here are the fundraising trends in 2016 that the Donorfy team have identified, along with ideas for how your charity can make the most of them.
The key trend for the year ahead. 2015 saw a surge in mobile usage, with many charities seeing over 30% of site visits coming via mobile, and that trends looks set to continue and grow in importance into 2016. That means that not only does your charity website have to be optimised for mobile, but the whole donor journey does too.
From clicking a link on your Facebook, to visiting a campaign landing page to going through the actual donation process, all of these touch points need to be optimised for mobile to create a unified donor experience.
There are several tools out there to test if you’re website is mobile response. Take a look at MobileTest.me or Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Both are quick to take and give you straightforward advice on how to optimise your website for mobile.
If your donation page isn’t mobile optimised, why not try Donorfy’s donation page solution? It’s easy to set up and is mobile ready.
There is a range of digital services that charities love to use, from JustGiving and Mailchimp, to Eventbrite and Wordpress. But managing all of the data you have on donors across each of these digital tools and services can be a pain in the neck.
That all changes with Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs. Many digital services now provide APIs to link data together and hold a customer overview in one place - known as integration.
Digital integration means moving from having donor data in disparate services to having all of your charity’s fundraising data in one place. So if one of your donors signs up to an event through Eventbrite and you want to send them a thank you email through Mailchimp, the process is more seamless and there is less chance of errors when that data is linked together.
Sounds great, right?
APIs help you do this, but it takes a platform like Donorfy to give you a single view of your donor and the many interactions that your charity will have with them.
3. Building longer-term relationships
Loyalty is a key word for fundraising in 2016. As the fundraising landscape becomes increasingly competitive, retaining supporters is just as important as recruiting new donors.
Tobin Aldrich said that this was a key focus for 2016:
“One of the minor mysteries of the third sector is the vast disparity between the resources and attention devoted to acquiring new supporters compared to those focused on developing existing relationships. As a consequence we see an enormous issue of donor churn.”
“Even small improvements in donor retention rates have a huge impact, it has been calculated that a 10% improvement in year on year retention doubles donor lifetime values.”
Charities should be concentrating on how they can improve the relationship with their existing donors, rather than focus on getting new donors. Donor retention needs to be rethought by charities and shouldn’t be an afterthought bolted onto an existing programme.
To do that though, you need to get a good idea of how your donors are interacting with your charity - and not from just a fundraising perspective.
Building longer-term relationships starts with knowing what existing relationship your donors have with your charity. Why not start your Donorfy trial now and kick off the process?
Gone are the mass mailings with generic greetings. Advances in technology mean it's now possible to personalise a whole range of interactions to individual donors.
This goes beyond just using a donor's first name in an email, but to what content on your site they've read, what events they've attended and what campaigns they've supported.
Did they just download a report from your website? Follow up with further information and donation ask after a few days. Are they signed up to a run for your charity? Create a drip-feed of emails in the run up to the event to keep them engaged and encourage their fundraising efforts.
As has already been mentioned, getting this data into one place is a vital step and Donorfy can help with that.
What are you waiting for? Start your free 14-day trial of Donorfy now.
Want to learn more? Read about our 2016 Civil Society win, where Donorfy was voted BEST Charity CRM for cost, functionality, integration and more.