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Digital fundraising sees surge in popularity during lockdown

We recently reached out to the charities signed up to DONATE to see just how much their fundraising plans have changed since lockdown, and the results are clear; digital, mobile and text fundraising methods have, and are, growing significantly.

Our research found that an overwhelming majority (83% of charities) who use the DONATE platform have changed their fundraising strategy to keep them going through lockdown. The most significant change that the charity sector has faced has been the lack of physical events, resulting in more than half of the charities reporting a 50% decrease in income from this traditional form of individual fundraising. Likewise charity retail shops have, unsurprisingly, seen a similar downturn. However and more positively, the move to online has seen significant innovation with fundraisers ranging from virtual festivals to Hardship Funds, online dog shows and much more.

Charities across the DONATE platform have run successful fundraisers during lockdown with notable successes including the Food4Heroes auction (which raised £25,000), the Intensive Care Society raising £145,000 through text and web giving and the Ruth Strauss Foundation which raised over £250,000 through a text giving promotion during the Ruth Strauss Test Match. 

All of the above campaigns have shown how digital fundraising can transform giving, and for smaller charities and charitable organisations, how online has been a lifeline over the past few months. Hundreds of charities have joined DONATE in recent months, with many religious charities making the most of digital fundraising when places of worship were closed. Examples include The Churches Conservation Trust, which now has 350 churches using text giving to fundraise and the Husaini Islamic Centre in Peterborough which raised over £30,000 in five days during the Muharram festival. 

Text giving has emerged as a growing channel for charities, with 52% using the channel to fundraise and 69% of respondents expecting mobile giving to increase on last year. Text raffles, online auctions, and contactless channels have also seen a large rise in usage as charities look for ways to reach their audiences digitally, with a third of charities joining these platforms stating that they had contingency plans in place and therefore had found digital fundraising easy to adapt to.

Almost all the charities we surveyed expect digital fundraising to be the new normal, with just 6% believing that digital giving would return to pre-lockdown levels once normality resumes.  85% have said that they believe digital fundraising will grow faster then trend due to lockdown. For any charities looking to join DONATE or set up an online auction, text raffle or any of our other digital fundraising services, email for more information or visit