And the Outlook for 2018 is …….
At this time of the year, the thoughts of the THINK team turn to what lies ahead for the sector over the next 12 months. Here are some views on what lies in store for the sector during 2018.
Michelle Chambers: ‘The mists of Brexit will start to clear and those charities affected by the potential loss of EU funding will start to be able to plan with more certainty about the level of funds which will be made available by the UK government to replace these. Negotiations around the UK’s trade deal with Europe will be a roller coaster ride; with the financial markets, the value of the pound and the general economy rising and falling. Charities must hold their nerve and focus on “steady as she goes” business as usual, whilst continuing to explore new techniques and propositions. Innovation and creativity will flourish where controlled risk allows failure to be an option. Not a year for the faint hearted!”
Grahame Darnell: ”There will continue to be a range of developments in the digital arena. We will begin to see how the new Facebook fundraising developments influence fundraising. We should see an uplift in donations if the experience of charities operating in markets where FB fundraising has already been launched carries across to the UK. There will be a rush to embrace FB and charities will be vying to understand what drives the algorithm that creates the listings of charities that can be supported. It will be interesting to see if FB ‘nudges’ have any impact on the numbers of people fundraising. And also if the announcement that FB won’t charge any fees to participating charities will have a knock on impact on fees charged by other on line giving platforms”.
Della Weight: “More UK domestic charities will start to consider fundraising in new markets and turn their attention to how they might establish fundraising operations overseas. This is already happening amongst larger charities, but I expect medium and even smaller charities to take this option, especially where they have a link through their community, such as; medical researchers, charity alumni, diaspora etc.
Beccy Murrell: ‘Localisation will continue to rise – the Grenfell tower experience shows how strong the sense of local, geographical community remains in this so called digital age and I think that could work to many charities’ advantage. This is a great opportunity for community based fundraising for charities of all sizes, however there will need to be more thought and priority given to clearer monitoring of the local impact of work, in order for this to support the fundraising effort.”
Gary Kernahan: “Virtual events will continue to dominate new product development for those charities seeking to expand their events portfolio. Charities will need to ensure that appropriate tools and techniques are used to help participants maximise their fundraising and without a doubt we will see in 2018 a charity trialing the combination of a virtual and physical event.
The year will also see more emphasis placed on the importance of community fundraising ‘ambassadors’ or ‘fans’, as grassroots advocacy becomes a key part of promotion and prospect pipelining activity.”
Michelle Sorrell: “Lifestyle giving – the act of donating through preexisting habits or channels will increase. This is easy for the donor to execute and can involve no cost to the donor, as seen with initiatives such as Marks and Spencer Sparks card and Savoo’s search engine and voucher donations using the donor as the key to unlock a corporate gift.”
Myles Bremner: “The importance of defining and communicating the impact of a charity’s work will continue to increase. Impact reporting will become increasingly prevalent in charity communications, which in turn will give rise to a greater emphasis on impact within a charity’s case for support.”
Sue Morgan: “2018 will see a greater than ever need to focus on genuinely personalised and truly engaging stewardship. Those charities who will fare best in terms of creating real loyalty and commitment will be those who work alongside supporters, involving them in decisions and enabling them to have meaningful choices about the way they support and where and how the impact is made. Giving donors control is key.”
Grahame Darnell: “The rise of video as a medium will also continue, with predictions that video will comprise 80% of all online content in 2019. There is a potential opportunity for charities to gather video content quickly via supporters and staff, as authenticity will trump slick production in terms of consumer demand.
These developments will be set against a looming digital backlash – a growing trend towards moments of digital detox – quality time doing things with technology switched off. Book sales are on the rise and vinyl drives more revenue for music artists than download sales. Might this also give rise to the renaissance of mail as a channel which engages young people, as a result of its unique and rarity amongst the communication channels they consume?”