The past few years have been challenging for charities in many ways.
With increased cost of living driving increased demand for many charity organisations’ services, it’s also put donations under pressure as regular donors feel the pinch. At the same time, the COVID pandemic has dramatically reduced the number of cash transactions across the UK, reducing a vital revenue stream for many charities.
With so much change, charities are looking to digital as a way of increasing donation levels to support their work post-pandemic. Many are introducing innovative new approaches to increase donations, helping them weather what’s likely to be a highly uncertain couple of years.
While some charities are at the forefront of digital innovation, others are still catching up – the most recent Charity Digital Skills Report shows that 40% of charities still don’t have a digital strategy in place, and 17% don’t offer any online services.
No matter what your charity’s level of digital maturity, there are simple steps you can take to leverage technology to improve donations. Here are a few areas to consider:
Contactless donation options
In 2017, debit card transactions overtook cash as the UK’s most popular payment method, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. It’s predicted that by 2027 only 16% of payments will be made with cash.
With spare change donations worth as much as £320 million to charities annually, it’s vital that charitable organisations find alternatives to cash donations quickly.
Contactless technology is a simple alternative to cash donations, allowing donors to give via a QR code or by tapping a card or smartphone.
Direct bank payments
QR codes can even leverage Open Banking technologies, allowing people to donate direct from their bank accounts rather than using a debit or credit card. Where direct bank payments used to take time to confirm, many can now be authorised instantly with no need for charities to handle donors’ bank sort codes or account numbers.
Direct bank payments also mean lower fees payable by the charity, so a greater percentage of donation revenue is retained.
While QR code and contactless donations mimic the convenience of a change collection box, they don’t replace the “every little helps” concept, where donors are giving loose change that means very little to them.
Some technology providers are working to replicate this phenomenon – FundStar’s Percy prepaid card makes a micro-donation every time it’s used, allowing customers to give to your charity in tiny increments that they’ll barely even notice.
Many online retailers also offer similar functionality at their checkouts – for example, Amazon Smile allows customers to set up a preferred charity and donate a percentage of their spend every time they shop.
Automated gift aid
While encouraging donations is vital, it’s also important to ensure that your charity is maximising the value of every donation it receives.
The UK government’s Gift Aid small donations scheme allows charities to claim back 25% tax on contactless card donations of £30 or less by activating PAR (Payment Account References), allowing Gift Aid claims for card payments to be automated.
Streamline your payments with B4B
Whether it’s launching a prepaid card scheme for your donors or enabling direct Open Banking payments, B4B Payments can help you streamline your charity’s payment processes and get the most out of your funds.
To find out more about how we can help, get in touch today.