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Charities turning to tech to help safeguard future, finds report

Melanie May | 16 August 2023 | News

A woman's hands hold a phone showing the tiktok icon. By Cottonbro Studio on pexels

Charities are adopting new technologies to raise funds and fill staff shortages as they strive to survive the ongoing financial crisis, according to a new report from Endsleigh.

The Rewarding Industries 2023 report surveyed over 300 financial decision makers across charities, social enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations, to analyse how the third sector is responding to the challenges faced in today’s climate. 

Of those surveyed, nearly half (45%) said their financial situation was worse now – due to the cost-of-living crisis – than it was during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Over two fifths (43%) fear their charity is at risk of closure due to financial challenges.


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Seeking new income streams

The report highlights growing use of gamification for raising funds, with 58% of charities surveyed saying they had used the metaverse, augmented or virtual reality, online games or partnered with gamification providers to encourage donations, in the past year. These range from live streaming, quizzes and interactive games in digital fundraising. Some charities are also looking into ways to secure more regular donors as part of a ‘subscription service model’ of fundraising.

Around a third of organisations have also increased their use of social media channels, such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, to extend marketing activities in the last 12 months. Alongside this, the same amount said they were now partnering with influencers to raise awareness and help increase donations online.

Streamlining business processes

Charities are also increasingly using technology to streamline business processes, reduce costs and increase revenue – 29% are using AI tools to fill talent gaps within the industry.

However, with greater reliance on tech comes increased risk of cybercrime, with the report finding that 26% of organisations were a target of cyber fraud in the last 12 months.

Alison Meckiffe, Endsleigh Insurance CEO, said: 

“The cost-of-living crisis has put even more pressure on charities, social enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations. While the report highlights the financial threat many organisations face, it also highlights the resilience of the industry, with many identifying ways to evolve their ‘business’ model to continue to support those most in need.”