Give more and more often!

Recently I was speaking to one of my fellow classmates on my social media course. She works for a charity and we were going through some different ideas for brand awareness and fundraising. As is usually the case the charity she works for doesn’t have access to an endless pot of funds. I am aware that there are many charities are in a similar situation in Wales and across the UK, so I thought I would turn some of our ideas into a blog that perhaps will benefit others.

The first point we touched upon was targeting the right people, if you aren’t asking the right people to donate/volunteer then your campaign will flop – yes it’s that simple! People tend to give to charities they can relate too, it doesn’t have to be a direct relation it could be that they know someone that may benefit from the charity. Typically women aged 45 to 64 are most likely to give (67%), those least likely to give are young adults aged 16 to 24 (I would like to put this down to insufficient disposable monthly income rather than question their generosity).

Once you have established the demographics of your target audience, it needs to be transferred into your marketing/advertising efforts. It doesn’t matter what form of media you choose to promote your campaign, each will have a different audience profile. If we use radio as an example, there are stations that target the young, family orientated and those for people in their twilight years. The radio station’s output will match their core audience; you will also see a difference in the companies that advertise on the station. After all there would be no point in a stair lift company on a station that has a strong 15 to 25 following.

Let’s look at different ways to appeal for donations.

Of course budgets will play a major part in what media/methods you use to advertise, let’s set that aside for now and look at what works best.

(Source: Marketing Week – Lightspeed Research carried out a survey asking 1000 respondents what works best when charities are appealing for donations)

Let’s go back to budgets; this is a major obstacle for my friend’s charity. They only have a small amount allocated for marketing, and they certainly aren’t in the minority. There are 2086 charities operating in Wales, but according to Nielsen only 153 advertised in Wales in 2011. Like with any company they are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. If they can’t prove that something works, then their committee aren’t inclined to sign off a campaign or to try something new.

So I came up with a few ideas as to how a small charity can measure their marketing efforts!

  • If you use radio or press then you can promote an event which requires participants to register.
  • How about an online campaign where people download information? You will then find out how many people downloaded the information.
  • What about asking people to donate via their mobile phones and text something along the lines of ‘donate £5’ to a number? Then you can find out how many people text the number.
  • How about using traditional media to recruit new volunteers, then use your volunteers to collect on the streets. This way you could measure the number of new volunteers and the money they generated on the streets.

This particular charity has one budget to cover:

How does social media fit in?

Every charity needs to have a social media presence, after all the only investment required is time! Use social media to drive brand awareness and keep your followers/connections updated on any news or articles relating to your charity. Social media used in the right way is a very powerful tool, use it to start stories and tell your audience what you are doing and why you are doing it. It’s about tapping into your followers and getting them to champion your cause.

People are still donating to charities, even with many of us suffering from pay freezes and ever increasing living costs. Surprisingly the average amount donated in 2011 remained the same as in 2010 (£31). Overall and estimated £11m was donated by individuals in 2011.

More people are giving online, but it still isn’t in a position to compete with the number of people giving cash or setting up direct debits. An increasing number of people are giving goods as an alternative to cash; perhaps this is a reflection of their current financial situation.

When working with limited funds, every penny counts. Identify your core audience and interact with them through the media they use. It’s about working smarter with what you have and capitalising on the resources available to you.

The Little Nuggets

(Source: GB TGI Radio+ 2012 Quarter 2, Kantar Media, Wales BARB Region)

Top 5 charities to donate too (Welsh average)

  1. 35% Cancer Research UK
  2. 23% Children in Need
  3. 22% British Heart Foundation
  4. 21% Macmillan/Cancer Relief
  5. 20% Comic Relief

75% have donated to charity in the last 12 months.

Please get leave a comment below if you’re a charity that would like to share your advertising success stories or faux pars. Alternatively you can email me jodi.stuart@realradio.co.uk or tweet me @realradiojodi

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