Welcome to this blog post reviewing data from our recent Individual Giving Fundraising Survey results and the associated discussions during The Lowdown Individual Giving Fundraising Insights 2023 webinar. We've got an exciting set of results to share with you all around fundraising products and strategies that have been driving success for charities.
A particular thank you to the panel of The Lowdown webinar for sharing their experience, thoughts and opinions during the session. Some of which are captured here:
Helen Daw, Head of Data Strategy and Insights, Woods Valldata
Rufus Cruft, Director of Fundraising, Royal British Legion
Jo Howard, Global Head of Direct Marketing, Sightsavers
Poppy Obokoh, Individual Giving Manager – Retention, The Air Ambulance Service
Let's dive straight into the heart of it, shall we? Helen's presentation on fundraising products sparked an engaging discussion that unveiled some fascinating trends.
Helen, with her characteristic enthusiasm, guided us through the survey results, highlighting the most critical fundraising products that charities employed in 2023. Regular giving, legacy, and cash appeals emerged as the top three champions driving income, aligning seamlessly with the collective poll responses from the webinar.
What's particularly interesting is the consistency in the lineup of essential products year on year. Regular giving, cash appeals, and legacy continue to maintain their dominant positions, painting a picture of stability and reliability in fundraising efforts.
Yet, amidst this constancy, there were intriguing shifts. The data revealed a slight decline in cash appeals and emergency appeals compared to previous years. Simultaneously, there was a surge in the importance of weekly lottery and raffle, signalling a rise in prize-led fundraising approaches.
“Prize-led fundraising has been quite important as far as a fundraising product this year and into the future” Helen Daw
The panel agreed with the results. We discussed the continuing importance of cash appeals for in-year income, but, as Poppy explained, it’s important to also look at other ways supporters can give.
“I think cash appeals are always going to be there, and especially in acquisition, but we are looking at other ways for supporters to give to us” Poppy Obokoh.
Rufus explained that different products lend themselves better to different demographic groups. So it’s important to continue Cash and Raffle – even though with an aging supporter base donating this way, numbers are declining. But alongside that, fundraisers need to be looking at ways to attract and nurture the next generation.
Jo introduced a different perspective again, saying cash giving has been successful through channels such as DRTV and digital – with a change in the split between regular giving and cash giving on these channels, much more in the favour of cash. The challenge is in how to integrate those cash givers into the programme and build a relationship with them outside of their initial gift.
“We're also seeing a lot more cash giving via TV - we've got quite a big DRTV program. And we're seeing much more cash giving to TV than we've ever we've ever seen before. We’re having to be much more agile about how we integrate these people into our programme.” Jo Howard
Legacy giving, a pivotal aspect for sustained funding, sparked an engaging discussion. Jo highlighted the surprising success of raffle-based acquisition for legacies, emphasizing the shift in donor demographics. She felt that the UK public and fundraisers were more open than ever to talking about, and asking about, legacies.
All felt that including legacy in existing asks was important, but also running specific legacy campaigns.
“The way to acquire legacy supporters is to do a legacy ask and have a clear legacy proposition – that can really lead to those numbers of legacy supporters.” Rufus Cruft
Poppy and Jo shared cost-effective yet impactful strategies for smaller charities, including leveraging supporter magazines and embedding legacy messaging into various communications. Rufus proposed exploring free will writing offers as tangible, cost-effective methods to boost legacy contributions.
As the discussion drew to a close, the collective insights from our panellists underlined the significance of agility, diversification, and embracing digital avenues in fundraising product strategies. They emphasized the need to create a supportive culture around legacy conversations while adapting approaches to align with changing donor landscapes.Our main take-outs are:
In conclusion, the Lowdown on Individual Giving Insights 2023 has illuminated the evolving landscape of fundraising products and strategies. It's a testament to the resilience and adaptability of charities in navigating the dynamic world of fundraising.
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