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UK charities investing in fundraising & the supporter experience despite economic uncertainty, report shows

UK charities investing in fundraising & the supporter experience despite economic uncertainty, report shows

A new report from the and PwC shows a sector investing in fundraising and the supporter experience despite the economic uncertainties.

The Fundraising for Impact report is based on a survey of over 100 fundraising charities of different sizes, and explores fundraising income and costs, how charities are investing in fundraising, key fundraising challenges and their views about fundraising in the future. It shows that despite the pressures, including increased costs in compliance, workforce and fundraising activity, and concerns that the economic uncertainty will continue to affect donors’ disposable income and demand for services, charities are working hard to adapt and to proactively take control through innovation and new approaches to put strong foundations in place for future success.

Key findings from the research include:

  • Charities predict a growth in income for future years with the majority of respondents predicting growth of at least 10% in most areas of voluntary income over the next three years
  • Improving the experience of current supporters and growing relationships with them is the number one current area of focus for charities (63%); while the most commonly reported area of focus for the future is to find new supporters (74%)
  • Innovation, new approaches and trying new things (75%), and reaching out to find new supporters (74%) are seen as the two most important areas for the long term sustainability and growth of charities
  • Only 35% of respondents said that their focus is on ‘Business as usual – concentrating on continuing our existing programmes and fundraising activities’
  • Charities have experienced rising costs over recent years – 86% of respondents reported a significant increase in costs of compliance, alongside increases in workforce, fundraising activity, and systems and technology
  • Three quarters of respondents (73%) said their charity’s investment in generating voluntary income was a priority, with digital engagement being the most likely area of predicted increased donations over the next three years

Peter Lewis, CEO, Institute of Fundraising, said:

“Fundraisers know that the success of fundraising goes beyond the pound that is donated – it is about the relationships that are created between the cause, the charity and supporters that will deliver long-term success. While increased costs and economic uncertainty lead to a challenging environment, I’m pleased to see that more charities are putting in place strong foundations and building blocks that will deliver for their causes into the future.”

Aidan Sutton, Partner and Head of Charities, PwC, added:

“I’m heartened by the sense of positivity and optimism from those who responded to our survey. Improving the experience of existing supporters and attracting new ones are, quite rightly, seen as key priorities – and building deep, authentic relationships will be at the heart of this. Focusing on creating a great supporter experience means a shift in mindset away from a traditional measure of financial return on investment and towards a return on experience.”

The full report is available on the IoF site.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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