A new era

A new era is dawning. And, like it has been highlighted report after report in the last three years, charities need to up their digital game.

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A new era.

At the time of this writing, a young woman called Charlie Smith (@charliersmith1 on Twitter) has raised a total of £41,320 for Mind charity after running 24 half marathons on the run-up to Christmas day via Strava, an app tracking human exercise. For those of us who know the struggle of many charities, this is the equivalent of weeks, and for some, months of work. From items sold on their charity shops to grant chasing, not to forget raffle tickets, end of year balls, etc. Her story tells us two things about the future of the Third Sector.

# Let the donors tell the story

One person running half a marathon per day and posting about it on Social Media has a much greater impact on the younger generation than the traditional boring add on TV. Aired at 3pm. On a rainy day. In northeast England. The point is this generation wants to relate to the messenger. They will donate to your cause if the ask comes from a mate. They are also more likely to donate if there is a sense of personal achievement. Generation “Grow a Mow for a Bro” wants to jump on a bike, lunch Strava, and post their efforts straight on Social Media to encourage others. And it gets even better if that helps raise a few pounds for their cause. So as a charity, the new challenge is not so much to increase the regular donations user base but more in finding that sweet spot where an individual will feel sufficiently inspired. They’ll take it upon themselves to go out there and shout your name in a way that meets their style an fits in their lives.

# Legacy donations are on their way out

As traditional donors are donating less in their wills and via Direct Debit, Gen Z and Millenials are less attracted to that practice of signing a blank cheque to their causes via Direct Debit. They want to actively get involved but, most importantly, they also want donating to be a function of their economic health and activity. That is the very reason why apps that help generate donations via round-up are thriving. And with Open Banking becoming mainstream, we are about to welcome even more ways to donate. That is also why more and more e-commerce platforms and Fintech startups are adding some form of donation function to the customer journey. The Give As You Spend generation where you if you don’t have enough to spend for you own needs you don’t donate either is growing fast. A new era is dawning. And, like it has been highlighted report after report in the last three years, charities need to up their digital game.

***picture courtesy to Daria Dashaa