As more and more roles are being advertised as fully home-based, Ewa Jozefkowicz from Charity Job looks at what means for fundraising jobs, as well as what charities and fundraisers need to be thinking about when it comes to their long-term fundraising plans.
As the world emerges from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, more charities are embracing the possibilities of new directions. And one of the main focuses is on the future of remote work.
At Charity Job, we’ve found that the percentage of jobs advertised as fully home-based has gone up considerably from 4% in March 2020 to 24% at the end of last year. Throughout this year, this percentage has hovered at around 18% and is unlikely to drop in the immediate future. Many other jobs are offering increased flexibility and partial remote work.
The shift to remote has particularly affected the role of fundraisers. Interestingly, research has shown that donor behaviour has changed for good, particularly when it comes to the methods of donating. According to UK Fundraising, as much as 40% of the public have not made any form of cash donation to charity since before COVID-19 began. Only a quarter (26%) have said that they are willing to use cash for donations going forward. While more than half (51%) have chosen online as their preferred method.
All this has meant that 62% of European charities, including those in the UK, plan to increase their focus on online fundraising channels going forward, which means that the role of fundraisers is likely to change for good. If you’re currently working on your long-term fundraising plan, we have some useful guidance for you.
Events have always formed a key part of fundraising. The end of pandemic restrictions will mean that in-person fundraisers return, but there are likely to be many events which remain at least partially remote. Why? Because they enable charities to easily reach a wider audience and to engage with new supporter groups.
Anthony Nolan is just one charity which has embraced hybrid events. It’s Engagement & Marketing Officer Terence Lovell says: “Although we hope for a return to physical events and engagement in the not-too-distant future, we are certain that many of the changes of the last year are here to stay. So retaining the flexibility to engage our supporters in new and innovative ways means that we can reach bigger audiences.”
Of course, the success of hybrid fundraising will largely depend on your charity’s ability to create engaging experiences for a dual audience, so it’s worth taking some time to map this out. Here fundraising managers will play a crucial part in adapting each event to cover these two strands and will have to think creatively about how to deliver effective marketing and communications to the two audiences.
Innovation is the mother of invention as they say, and many charities have spoken about how the pandemic has accelerated their pace of digital transformation, particularly when it comes to donor journeys. Here are some strategies which have become increasingly popular and which you might consider:
- More diverse use of social media platforms: Charities are embracing Snapchat, TikTok and Clubhouse, as well as new features of longer-standing platforms, such as Instastories on Instagram. BBC’s Children In Need is just one example of a charity that broadcasts its fundraisers across multiple social channels to reach the widest possible audience. If you haven’t tried the newest platforms yet, its worth giving them a try to see whether they work for your cause.
- UX-driven changes to donor journeys: If it’s been a while since you last analysed the effectiveness of your website donor journey, now might be the time to do so. There are a number of high-profile charities such as Alzheimer’s Society, which have reaped the rewards of testing their user journey and doing extensive research into donor habits. Sometimes its difficult to see the wood for the trees, so you might consider an external UX audit to help you pinpoint the elements of the journey that need to change.
- New, innovative fundraising apps: There are a number of new apps which support digital fundraising and which you might like to try. Pledjar rounds up purchases to the nearest pound, with the change going to charity. The Virgin Money Giving app allows fundraisers to to engage followers directly on their pages and to track fundraising progress. But there are plenty of others. If you’re running a hybrid event, you’re likely to find some of these particularly helpful.
If you work in fundraising and are ready to put all your experience of digital channels and hybrid events to the test, why not take a look at some of the available roles today? There are some great positions out there in what is proving to be an exciting time for the sector.