Digital activity ‘is changing the face of charity giving’

donationsreportCharities are being urged to examine closely the way they approach their digital fundraising campaigns on the back of a new report which shows that, while giving is on the up, factors such as location and payment method are now having a far greater influence on appeals.

With many third-sector organisations facing an uncertain future amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Online Donations Report 2020 from agency WPNC is designed to help charities in these uncertain times.

It has been devised using anonymised data gathered through WPNC’s online donation platforms, including goDonate, which generated more than £37m income for charities in 2019 alone.

The platform is used to power donor experiences on a number of high-profile charities’ websites, including Prostate Cancer UK, Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

The report features key information showing trends in both one-off and regular giving comparing 2019 to 2018, plus donor behaviour across the board in 2019 covering geography, seasonality, day of the week and time of day. It is available free of charge to charities on request here>

There are three key findings from the data analysis:

Giving is up, but the profile of donations is changing
The analysis found that in 2019, there was a 26% increase in the volume of one-off donations and a 19.85% rise in overall value through the charity donation funnels that were directly comparable to those used in 2018. The average one-off gift amount, however, is lower year-on-year, indicating that while there are more donations, supporters are leaning towards a lower price point.

New ways to pay are taking off
The data shows alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets, have enjoyed increased share for both one-off donations and regular gifts. For instance, where credit cards and digital wallets like PayPal and Apple Pay are offered alongside direct debit as an option for regular donations, the average take-up is 29% – with one charity seeing 83% of regular donors using digital wallets.

Donor location makes a difference
Four large cities, London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, account for a significant slice of the giving pie. Londoners are responsible for 10% of all one-off donations, for instance. However, that doesn’t mean they should necessarily be the focus for all attention; those cities tend to have lower value gifts by comparison to regional towns and smaller cities, which typically have higher value donors. The highest average cash gift is found in Chester at £32.57.

WPNC digital managing director Vicky Reeves said: “The trends we share in the report give a clear picture of the rise in online donations and profile today’s donor behaviour.

“When we first conceived of the report the world was a very different place. The global pandemic we find ourselves living through will doubtless change the giving landscape, but we will emerge from this as generous as before – perhaps more so – and with a refreshed view on how technology and everyday life come together.”

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