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Fundraising in a digital world

Date: Tuesday, 18th April 2017 | Category: , , , ,

As you may know, last month we took part in The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) DECHOX challenge. This challenge was widely publicised online, with dedicated hashtags, content and images available from the BHF specifically for each main social platform, draft emails, links to share and more.

The developments in technology and the social attitude we now have to the use of digital channels and devices have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for charities and alike to fundraise and connect with their supporters.

Although organisations now have vast amount of options when it comes to how to campaign and communicate with their audience, this can actually prove more problematic than beneficial for some, with people either confused about what they should be doing and how, or struggling to be seen and heard over all the other similar organisations out there doing the same things.

The main thing organisations need to consider is the market they are targeting; just because all the different channels and mediums are out there, that doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Just like with everything else, you need to know what works best for your audience; which channels are they most frequently on? At what time of the day? We can help you find this out and make sure this knowledge is put to the best use.

There main ways to raise funds online are:

Online donation websites

There are a variety of sites that allow you to raise and donate money online such as Just Giving, Virgin Money Giving and MyDonate.

Fundraisers can set up their page with whatever message and imagery they choose then users can easily go on and donate straight to the fundraising pot.

The one thing to watch with these sites is that some charge you for setting the page up and some also take a percentage of the total amount raised, we recommend doing your research first to see which one is best for you with regards to cost and functionality.

Donate buttons 

A popular feature on many charity organisation’s websites now is a donate button. By clicking on these, supporters can donate their chosen amount simply and efficiently. Most donation sites mentioned previously offer an option for organisations to embed one of these on their website.

Just having one of these buttons doesn’t automatically mean that you will receive donations however, you still have to drive traffic to your website in the first place as with everything else. If your usual website visitors are not those that usually donate, you may want to think about how to alter this to attract donators. It is also important to make sure the button is clearly signposted and users know what it is for.

Text donations

You have probably seen adverts that ask you to text a certain word to a number to donate. This is such a quick and convenient way for many people to give, without them having to go to a website or log in to anything. All it takes is sending a short message, usually just a single word. In a highly mobile-dependant society, we can’t think of an easier way for the majority of people to support a cause.


This doesn’t necessarily have to be done online, however it has become common practice to do so. Crowdfunding works by allowing people to make small investments to a campaign or project, collectively working together to all raise the desired amount.

Through doing it this way, no large investment is required so people are more willing to make a donation without feeling any obligations. This is perfect for projects and campaigns that may be struggling to attract large investors due to risk levels.

Just like with the others, you still need to direct people towards the crowdfunding site in order for it to be successful. We can help you with all of this using either new or your pre-existing communication platforms.

Viral campaigns

Along with he BHF challenge, you probably will have heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge, No Make-Up Selfie or Movember. These are all viral campaigns that have utilised various online channels, primarily social media ones.
If it is done right and catches on, these can spread extremely quickly, potentially world-wide. Although it is hard to make a campaign catch on, there are a few things that you can do to try and make your campaign go viral:

  • An eye-catching title and messaging – whether this pulls on people’s heartstrings or makes them laugh out loud, you need something that stands out and makes people take notice
  • Simplicity – if there is an element to sharing the campaign that seems too complicated, people will not take part and therefore it will not spread
  • A clear cause and action – make it really clear to people what you are asking them to do and how they can donate


Obviously a retweet, like or share from a celebrity would do wonders for your campaign, but we appreciate this won’t happen for most of us!

We have in-house experts that can help you with every stage of your fundraising campaigns, get in touch today to find out more.