Digital donations key to long-term charity fundraising success

A recent survey by the Institue of Fundraising found that 70% of charities surveyed reported a significant decrease in the percentage of donations given in cash since 2015.

The survey, which was a response to the government’s call for evidence on the future of cash and digital payments found “quite noticeable differences” in donation habits when looking at the age of donors. Some 75% of charities report that over the last three years they have noticed that 16-24-year-olds are less likely to give cash, which is unsurprising, compared to 39% of those aged 45–65+.

Stephanie Siddall of the Institue of Fundraising said:

“We’ve emphasised throughout that, with over 160,000 registered charities, there will always be a wide variety and range of experiences and priorities across the charity sector. Some charities are early adopters of new technology and have been integrating and embedding new digital and contactless payments as part of their fundraising activity. Others are more traditional – or have less ability to take on newer changes – and rely on cash collections and donations.”*

Whats interesting from the survey is that 16% of charities view digital donations as a threat, which means there is still room for improvement to educate and help charities embrace digital technologies.

With the HM Treasury’s publication in the Spring Statement, the media gave a lot of attention to the possibility of 1p and 2p coins being removed from circulation. While I’m all for eliminating all things archaic, the recent ‘Global Cash Report’ by G4S reported an increase of 40% of cash in circulation in Europe last year.

Chief Executive of G4S’ Global Cash Division, Jesus Rosano, said:

“Cash remains fundamental in our day to day global economy. The evidence shows that contrary to popular opinion, demand for cash is growing in absolute terms and relative to GDP.

People trust cash; it’s free to use and readily available for consumers, it’s confidential, it can’t be hacked, and it doesn’t run out of battery power– these unique qualities continue to hold significant value to people living on all continents.”

While I don’t believe there to be an immediate threat to charities; actually, it shouldn’t be a threat at all, more of an opportunity. Charities should always be looking at ways to innovate, and in this case not waiting for cash donation usage to go to single digits, but look at what ways they can start tackling the issue head-on, today.

* Cash giving still adds up – Institute of Fundraising.

* G4S – World Cash Report.

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