Navigating the Future: Insights into UK Fundraising Trends for 2024
The fundraising landscape will continue to be heavily shaped by the challenging economic climate, the disruption of AI (or its help), the effects of Covid on our lives and working practices, and a pending General Election. Brace yourselves for another demanding year!
We know that many charities are still grappling with the task of securing funds to meet inflationary costs, whilst contending with an increase demand for services particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Trussell Trust, SCVO and others show a sharp increase in destitution and deep poverty in 2023. This will continue into this year and probably next.
Diversify: The Key to Financial Resilience
In this climate, charities face increased competition for funds, compounded by a decline in individual giving due to the pinch on people’s wallets (Charities Aid Foundation, 2023). The remedy? Diversification! We encourage organisations to explore a variety of income sources, from Trusts and Foundations to the Lottery, major donors, and innovative strategies for engaging individual donors. Don’t be afraid to explore new horizons, including corporate partnerships, earned income, and even loans and social finance.
Digital Fundraising: The Future is Online
While people are raring to be out an about again after Covid, many people have not returned to the office and have continued to work from home.
Charities have been looking to online and digital fundraising since the pandemic and Charity Digital reports that “Digital fundraising has been drastically rising since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when restrictions to all in-person interaction also meant a fall in cash and in-person charity giving.” More and more charities are being creative in this area with more and more charities looking at their online fundraising and using gaming and streaming to do fundraising.
Social media remains a powerful tool, with platforms like Instagram and Facebook driving viral campaigns and challenges, enabling nonprofits to emotionally resonate with supporters.
Other charities are discovering that leveraging the influence of ambassadors and celebrities on social media adds dynamism, enhancing engagement and outreach.
While many charities have gone back to in person event, online events are here to stay and will just grow in the years to come. Influencer MarketingHub report that “In 2021, the global virtual events market was valued at $114 billion, and experts estimate that it will grow to approximately $366 billion by 2027.” This is something that charities need to embrace and be ahead of the curve on.
AI Revolution: Elevating Fundraising Efforts
Technology plays an increasingly vital role in fundraising. Remember it is a tool and not a substitute or replacement for your (human) relationships with your donors and supporters. In 2024, we anticipate a significant uptake of the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in fundraising. AI-driven algorithms empower charities to analyse donor behaviour, predict trends and personalise engagement strategies, resulting in more efficient and targeted fundraising efforts. Large Language Models, like Chat GPT, will play an increasing role in improving fundraising and marketing productivity.
Partnership Working: A Collaborative Approach to Financial Sustainability
With financial resources becoming hard to come by, collaboration is key. With large institutional donors such as the national lottery asking for more partnership work, we encourage charities to work together to attract funds from both institutional and individual donors. Partnerships are not always easy and can take time, but shared values are a great starting point to build from. St Johns, Deptford heritage organ project but recently secured a lottery development grant that drew upon musical and cultural connections with key local institutions built up over a number of years. Partnership approaches enable charities to make a big impact and can also be a great way of smaller charities being part of applications for large donations.
EDI Impact: Shaping the Priorities of Charitable Trusts
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) are reshaping the priorities of many charitable trusts, including Tudor, Lankelly, Edward Gosling and John Ellerman who have all made significant changes. Many are going through a re-examination of their historical ties to colonialism and fortunes amassed through involvement in slavery. EDI is compelling trusts to confront the legacies of their colonial past, acknowledging the injustices perpetuated by their historical associations. Charitable trusts are now integrating EDI principles into their core priorities, not only by addressing contemporary diversity issues but also by recognising and rectifying the deep-seated inequalities rooted in historical actions. The commitment to EDI is reshaping the very fabric of charitable trusts, making them more responsive to the evolving needs of diverse communities and reinforcing the notion that philanthropy should be a catalyst for positive social change.
Embracing inclusivity involves diversifying leadership as well as your donors. Increased EDI efforts can lead to wider recruitment, diversified boards and ultimately opening doors to a broader donor base.
Addressing Staffing Challenges: Prioritising Wellbeing
We know that many staff and volunteer teams are feeling the strain after three years of the Covid pandemic, cost of living crisis and more. 2024 will be a year to up your game in looking after yourself and staff and volunteer teams with their health and wellbeing. Implementing a well thought out plan and allocating some resources and time for regular check-ins is crucial.
Attracting and recruiting the right fundraising staff remains challenging, and here’s where expert advice from an established fundraising consultant on recruitment strategies and additional fundraising capacity can make a significant difference.
And finally, the Impact of a General Election on Charities
Despite charities not featuring prominently in recent budgets and government plans, the looming General Election holds promise. It will be interesting to see how charities feature in party manifestos, especially regarding issues like charity status and VAT for schools, as well as communities such as refugees, those who are homeless, those experiencing poor mental health and those living in poverty. Historical trends suggest that heightened political awareness during election years galvanizes donors, and given the current political climate, this trend is set to intensify.
As charities navigate the fundraising landscape in 2024, adapting to economic challenges, leveraging technology and being creative, fostering relationships and embracing inclusivity will be paramount. We hope that these will help you think about the year ahead and have given you some tools that you can incorporate into your strategy, ensuring their continued ability to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those they serve.
Get in touch
If you would like help with navigating the year ahead, Craigmyle’s collective experience is here to guide you through any fundraising hurdles you and your organisation are facing. We’d love to hear from you. Please email us at email@example.com or give us a call on 01582 762441.