The Cost of Giving – A Generational Tale

We have lived through tumultuous times in recent years, following on from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic through to the current unrest in the world and a likely looming economic crisis.

Whilst the troubles for private sector small businesses have been widely publicised, they are also true of small charities across the United Kingdom.

In the UK the public are the main source of income for charities responsible for circa £27bn which equates to almost 50% of charity’s income.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for charities to understand the preferences their donors have, to ensure that they capture their attention and make it as simple for them to donate as possible.

A recent report commissioned by Charity Digital and MobiCash (there’s a link to the report below) shows that those of 55 years of age and above, prefer to make donations more often and via cash or direct debit whilst those under 45 are more likely to donate spontaneously and electronically via mobile – This demonstrates the coming generational shift in how donations – historically cash donations – will be made. A strategy based on donation via mobile is something every charity should have in place.

In addition, understanding the benefits to a charity of Gift Aid and the ability to clearly explain this to new and potential donors is of paramount importance; adding millions in additional revenue to charities across the country, it would seem remiss to not tap into this beneficial scheme, yet many charities currently operate their retail shops without a Gift Aid system.  The main reasons for this are generally associated with training and tenure of staff and the time and resource investment that is required. Gift Aid though is also attractive to donors; The additional 25% contributed by HMRC (for those donors who pay income tax) encourages donations in many cases.

With the uptake of digital sign-up in the past couple of years, donor management has improved ten-fold, the conversation with potential donors can seem much easier and less time consuming when they just tap their details into a tablet.

Times are changing for sure, charity retail and fundraising teams need keep abreast of the different generations of donors and also the innovative technology available to keep those vital donations flowing.

See the report via the link below, for some interesting insights.

MC x Charity Digital 2023 Report v4.1.2.pdf