In case you hadn’t heard, there’s another lockdown in place across the UK – which means that once again the charity sector are rallying their efforts to continue to provide vital services under extremely challenging circumstances.
One of the most immediate consequences of the pandemic has been the move from offline to online fundraising, and the need to find new ways of managing services and donations digitally under social-distancing measures.
If your charity is facing funding gaps because of the pandemic, here are some simple ways going digital could help you thrive during challenging times.
1. Bridge the funding gap with remote working
While many people aren’t huge fans of remote working, in many ways it could be beneficial for your bottom line if your charity has experienced a drop in donations.
Remote working could not only mean lower expenditure on office running costs, such as electricity and office equipment, but research actually shows that 75% of workers feel more productive due to reduced distractions, and 97% say having a more flexible job would have a “positive” impact on their quality of life.
Read more about how remote working could benefit your charity during lockdown.
2. Make the most of your website
Recent research showed that online one-off donations grew in volume by 26% year on year in 2019 – but despite this, 42% of small charities* still don’t have a digital strategy in place.
Make it easy for customers to donate during lockdown by creating an accessible website with a simple online payment facility.
If you don’t have one already, you can now build and host a small website quickly and cheaply with platforms such as Wix and GoDaddy.
Once you’re set up, fill your website with useful, value-added content and resources to keep your users coming back for more. You’ll also want to make sure your site is user-friendly and search-engine optimised to improve your online visibility.
*The Status of UK Fundraising Report 2019, blackbaud & Institute of Fundraising
3. Grow your social presence
With over 50 million social media users in the UK, social is an easy way to reach and engage new audiences for free, as well as drive fundraising efforts when you can’t throw a physical event.
If you’re not already on social media and unsure where to start, here are a few quick tips:
Research your channels – not every social platform is right for every audience, so the first step is making sure you’re posting in the right place
Get posting – Use hashtags and tag third parties (where relevant) to maximise reach. Post a mixture of content (e.g. blogs, infographics, video, gifs) to stave off audience fatigue. Follow the platform’s guidelines to ensure success, and don’t forget to think carefully about your profile description.
Trust the data – Monitor the performance of your posts so you can build your social strategy around your audience, and make sure you’re posting the content they want to see.
4. Get creative with your fundraising
With such restrictive rules in place, it’s never been more important to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising. Thankfully we live in the digital age, which means that online web conferencing facilities such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have made it incredibly easy to run online events from a distance.
You could set up “isolation challenges” that people can get involved in from the comfort of their own home, or ask people to donate however much they’ve saved on their morning cup of coffee or pint down the pub during lockdown! Or what about making the most of your social media channels by putting on a Facebook Live broadcast?
Protecting your charity against cyber risks
With an ever-increasing reliance on technology, it’s never been more important to make sure your charity is protected against cyber risks. After all, no organisation - big or small - is immune to the fallout of a data breach.
With over thirty years’ experience and over 3,000 not-for-profit customers in the UK, we work with market-leading insurers to provide competitive coverage, expert consultation and specialist advice for charities, community groups and not for profit organisations.
Stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 guidance by visiting the government website.