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Coronavirus sees two-thirds of charities change how they communicate with supporters

Melanie May | 6 July 2020 | News

Lockdown has seen two-thirds (67%) of charities surveyed by Rapidata change the way they communicate with supporters, with use of digital rising sharply and 49% saying they expect to continue using channels they hadn’t used before in the future.
The findings are among those revealed in a new report from Rapidata, released today during Fundraising Convention.
For the report, Rapidata questioned charities on their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, specifically around regular giving and how they had adapted their fundraising.
It found that, among the charities surveyed, communications saw a general shift from donor acquisition to supporter stewardship, with a big rise in the use of digital, and increased impact reporting and thanking.
Key survey findings:

Survey responses were received from 87 charities of all sizes. The highest proportion came from London and the South East, followed by Midlands and South West, with causes ranging from children and young people, to hospices, religious causes, animal welfare, and the environment.
As well as asking participants to share how they reacted to lockdown, and to the initial recovery phase of lockdown easing, Rapidata also asked about the strategies implemented to drive donations, mitigate attrition and protect regular giving income, and for their thoughts on the future of regular giving.
In addition, the report, Navigating Times of Crisis to Protect Regular Giving, includes interviews and case studies from senior fundraisers at charities including ClientEarthMarie Curie, Pancreatic Cancer UK, Prostate Cancer UK, Starlight Children’s Foundation, and WaterAid. There is also a section on lessons for the future along with a practical checklist to help charities prepare for future crises.
Scott Gray, Rapidata lead, and head of payments for The Access Group, commented,

“The past few months have been wrought with challenges for the charity sector. Although it’s been immensely encouraging to find regular supporters mostly sticking with their chosen charities despite their own difficulties. And to see charities themselves innovating and adjusting their strategies to reach out and deepen those vital relationships.”
“To protect regular giving for the future, an increased and dedicated focus on supporter centricity and strategic diversification will be essential. Part of this is innovative approaches coupled with greater investment in digital transformation. While we all hope to avoid another pandemic, what’s certain is that other crises and recessions will occur. It’s critical then that charities prepare for this by learning from others’ experiences and taking action to mitigate future risk.”

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The report is available as a free download, which goes live today during the IoF’s Fundraising Convention Online. Findings will be presented in Rapidata’s live networking session at 2.00pm.
 

Watch Scott Gray talk about the report’s findings

 

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Scott Gray,@rapidata_uk lead and head of payments for The Access Group, talks to Howard Lake about Rapidata’s report on the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on regular giving to UK charities. You can download the report, which includes a checklist for what charities can do to protect regular giving as an income stream, for free from https://rapidataservices.com/direct-debit/navigating-times-of-crisis-to-protect-regular-giving/

A post shared by UK Fundraising (@ukfundraising) on


 

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