We’re all used to the tin on the high street, corporate partnerships, government grants even charity shops. But the fundraising landscape is changing, online donation platforms are here, they’ve been here for a while, and they’re here to stay. What’s more, integrated services such as Facebook donate are expanding this new world even further, just what could this all mean for the charity sector and the businesses that support them?

At CharityJob we’ve been paying attention to the emergence of these platforms for a while, and charities certainly find them useful. Picture a small organization who may not have the resources for a large fundraising campaign, setting up an account on a platform like JustGiving, or adding a donate button to their Facebook page can prove to be a great way to save time and money. The appeal to small charities in particular becomes apparent, though it is worth bearing in mind that most services take commission, so costs and benefits must be weighed up.

Facebook donate in particular has proven to be an exciting and unique tool, allowing charities to receive donations on their Facebook pages as well as being collected on live broadcasts through Facebook live. The implications of live donations, in particular, could be far-reaching, impacting on and in some near-future replacing event fundraising, instead we end up with a situation where events are broadcast to a potentially larger audience of donors. Last year, CharityConnect discussed the donate button with some interest.

The donate system was launched in the UK September last year, so it’s still a little early to measure take up; yet, charities are starting to make use of the system, just try searching for “donate to X charity” and, the likelihood is they’ll have a Facebook donate page. The potential could be vast, we could see a migration to online-focused fundraising campaigns, not only for small charities but lager more established organisations. In a piece by Mission Box, the head of content for Battersea explains “we could be reaching hundreds of thousands, if not millions”

As for Facebook live, the impact on events fundraising and the digital fundraising space, in general, could be significant. Streaming events is already becoming quite common, and the old model of generating revenue through ticket sales or donations at the event, could be under threat. A report by Lightful covering a live appeal event by Islamic Relief demonstrates how a single appeal raised £16,000 and JustGiving illustrate many examples outside of revenue; where a live Q/A with Prince’s trust built engagement resulting in over 300 comments.

An interesting case study, by charity digital news, reveals Stroke Associations digital overhaul though their approach is by no means unique. It is becoming increasingly important for charities to migrate to online donation systems if they wish to attract donations from millennials. As the corporate world has known for a while, you need to be techy savvy in order to attract the tech savvy. The takeaway is that their new donation system, covers multiple donation platforms, including Facebook donate. This is likely is to be the approach many charities are going to take, as in the past they’ll have covered the range of offline fundraising streams (face to face, corporate etc) they will increasingly attempt to bridge all online options (Facebook donate, Facebook Live, Apple Pay, Just Giving, Leethi etc). Like any website, digital Marketing or sales strategy, a fundraising strategy of the future will likely be spread across all the currently emerging channels.

Overall, online fundraising across all its iterations is growing, and as millennials are increasingly reluctant to sign up to long-term direct debit commitments, or dish out change; the casual and integrated approach of systems like Facebook Donate can only help to alleviate these changes in the market.

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