Charitable giving remains strong and stable in ‘the new normal’

Figures provided by Woods Valldata clients covering February to April illustrate that, despite the difficult circumstances, individual giving has remained steady.

The numbers from February, March, and April depict a positive climate for fundraising and a strong desire to give back amongst supporters nationwide. 

Response rates show no sign of declining

The performance of like-for-like warm campaigns remains on a par with those of 2019, with overall response rates for cash campaigns in March-April 2020 tracking at 10% – identical to the 10% we saw last year.

As we mentioned in a previous post, the average donation across the same campaigns has increased from £20 to £21; one charity with a strong link to COVID-19-specific causes has seen a considerable surge in gift value from £24 to £40. 

Many of our clients have supporter bases averaging at the age of 45+. For raffles and cash appeals, the average age is likely to be higher still. This could explain the sustained success of cash campaigns, as these supporters are likely more financially secure than the younger demographic, and a commitment to vital causes clearly persists. 

Indeed, 98% of those aged 65+ surveyed in our report said they are very likely to give the same or more.

Predictably, payment methods have shifted since the pandemic hit. While cheque payments remain the mainstay of donations, credit card payments have increased by 28%, and online payments have risen 286%, as more people find themselves at home.

Some fundraising channels may require supplementation 

Considering the above, a strong case can be made for ‘business as usual.’ Traditional direct marketing campaigns remain a reliable source of charitable income, with postal responses continuing to account for the lion’s share of donations, coming in at 94.6% in 2020.

That being said, the impact of COVID-19 on fundraising channels such as events and retail has been felt deeply by many charities. In response to this challenge, we recommend you embrace virtual fundraising events as an alternative, as these are proving to be of real value.

From home walkathons to quiz nights, virtual fundraising events are growing in popularity. They’re a great way to keep the collaborative nature of fundraising alive and raise awareness via user-generated content. In addition to this, they hold strong appeal for younger supporters, as this demographic tend to gravitate toward active fundraising events.

How can Woods Valldata help?

Managing campaigns and emergency appeals while working remotely is challenging: that’s where Woods Valldata steps in.

Our industry-leading range of response handling and fulfilment services are fully operational at this time. We can design, print, and mail bespoke support packs for virtual fundraising events, mass print direct mail campaigns, handle online payment processing, direct debits, raffles (on and offline), and more. 

From the inception of a campaign or appeal, right through to thanking and banking, we’re here to help your charity thrive. 

For more insights, take a look at our report: The Impact of COVID-19 on Individual Giving. In it, we explore how the pandemic has affected charitable giving and offer thoughts on how charities can navigate ‘the new normal.’ You can download it here.


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