How Can Charities Boost Their Online And Offline Presence in 2022?
The last two years have proved how versatile and resilient charities are, showing how flexible and adaptive the sector can be to meet the changing demands and situations. The charity sector has or had to embrace:
- digital technology
- hybrid working conditions
- organising hybrid fundraising events
To make sure this year and the years beyond are successful, charities need to be one step ahead of the trends, especially when it comes to their online and offline presence.
A few weeks ago, we thought normality was around the corner ahead of the winter months. Then suddenly things changed! We have a new COVID variant, Omicron, kicking off the winter months. The third wave may prove as bad as the previous two and with the majority of the adult population double vaccinated and booster jabbed, only time will tell how we are going to face potential new variants. That being said, the charity sector needs to jump on new methods and apply lessons that were learnt from the last two years, here are some trends that would be beneficial to act on:
Use of social media platforms
The charity sector needs to maximise the use of platforms like Twitter, Tik Tok (Tik Tok, in particular, has taken off massively in the last two years), Instagram (IG) and Facebook (the use of Facebook in the UK has gone down and replaced by IG for a few years now). Tik Tok is a trendy social media platform! It’s a big deal with the younger demographic. It also offers greater flexibility and allows user generated content. Anyone with little knowledge of smartphones can create content. A good example of this is, you can find lots of individuals fundraising content for The British Heart Foundation on TikTok. There are a few other potential gems. It is worth exploring some of the other social media apps like HouseParty, Discord, MeWe and Clubhouse.
Charities need to make use of “Tap & Go” or the touch technology more. Cash is the thing of the past, everything is electronic these days. Donors are likely to donate small amounts with touch credit cards, Apple Pay, Google pay or something similar but I do still see a lot of old-style cash collection boxes. Over the weekend, while out on my Sunday morning walk, I saw people going door to door with the cashbox. Charities need to part away from this traditional method and move towards having a touch machine so that they collect the money electronically. People are likely to donate with “touch” rather than cash as not everyone has cash lying around these days. All the high street banks and internet-only banks offer these machines with their standard banking facilities.
The good news was, at the end of 2021 all restrictions for physical events were lifted. The sector had the opportunity to meet potential donors in person for fundraising events. In 2021 we also saw the advent of virtual events, this became hugely popular in 2021. We are likely to see a form of virtual events to continue in the coming years, more likely to be in the winter months. The benefits of virtual events have solved the issue of travelling, they had greater reach and limiting costs. These virtual events are ideal for auctions. However, for charities, it's always best to have physical events, handshakes, nibbles and a few hellos. These Physical events help build long term relationships. A mixture of physical and virtual events is this way forward for 2022 and beyond, this way you can offer flexibility for potential donors and they choose how they want to attend.
All in all, charities must embrace new methods such as the use of social media, collection of donations through tap and pay and having hybrid events.