Charities missing out on £35 million through poor online engagement, says research

January 13, 2013 4:51 pm 0 comments Views: 141

A third of donors don’t believe that charity websites relate to them on a human level, according to research commissioned by not-for-profit IT services provider Eduserv.

The survey of 2,000 consumers, conducted by YouGov, showed that charities could generate £35.5 million more if they provided more bespoke engagement with donors based on previous interactions.

The research revealed that 17% of British consumers would donate up to £15 more per month if a charity provided a more personal approach via their website or email.

This could include remembering which content has been seen on the website, viewing preferences and charity campaigns of interest.

Haylie Oriot, charity sector manager at Eduserv, said: “Consumers increasingly expect good online interaction with websites because the likes of Amazon have done it so well. Genuinely good web engagement, which understands a donor’s previous interactions and uses this information to provide a more bespoke experience has yet to take off in the charity sector.

“This has understandably coloured people’s responses, with nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents being undecided about whether online engagement would encourage them to give long term support to a charity. That’s because nobody has got it right yet.”

Despite this indecision, the survey showed clear benefits of online engagement, in addition to higher donations. 21% of the sample stated that convenience is a strong factor in donating online over physically, with 11% liking the reassurance of online security – giving out bank details on the street to charity staff frequently being seen as an insecure experience which could lead to fraud / theft.

“It is understandable that consumers want peace of mind when it comes to donating and also a convenient way to do so,” added Oriot.

“It’s the same as shopping online; consumers choose to do this because they can do it from the comfort of their home, at any time day or night.

“However, a website that offers bespoke engagement and also provides a secure, convenient way of donating can not only build strong relationships with donors but also make the difference between a repeat donation and a missed opportunity.”

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