Statistics published in the Edelman Trust Barometer have suggested that trust in charitable organisations is falling annually, with another drop of 2% this year.
Luckily, with the help of digital solutions, charities have affordable and user-friendly platforms to offer total simplicity and honesty:
- Be easy to find somewhere online.
- Track and publicise your spending.
- Keep donors in the know.
- Give your donors plenty of options.
Starting with the simplest tip: making yourself accessible online, on desktop and mobile. If people can find you easily, they feel automatically more at ease about your legitimacy.
This is a important even just on the premise that people can’t learn more about you if they can’t reach you in the first place.
An online presence doesn’t have to mean you’re on every platform with allocated staff to maintain it. It can be as simple as having a basic website or Facebook page.
No doubt you’ll already know that registered charities are required to provide a full breakdown of spending for publication by the Charity Commission. To make sure you can supply this right away, be sure you have constant record of what money is going where.
Maintain clear accounts of all spending across all departments:
According to The Guardian, 1 in 5 charities spend less than 50% of their income on the cause itself. This figure can ring alarm bells for donors so your breakdown of spending can also be important to them.Donors want to see you are honest and clear about where your money is allocated to know you’re worth donating to.
An example of a charity who do this effectively is Macmillan Cancer Support who offer a clear breakdown of what was spent where on their ‘About Us’ page.
If you’re looking to improve your accounting software to help improve managing accountability, why not take a look at this comparison site.
This goes hand in hand with accountability, but is even broader. As a charity, you know the work you’re doing is extremely valid and you need to prove it to the outside world.
Transparency is all about telling potential donors how you plan to spend donations, and then showing evidence of how you’ve done as you said.
Publicise your success so far:
Achieving this is all about distributing clear and effective content on your site, social media channels and over email.One way of doing this is through useful infographics that clearly portray your successes. Clothes Aid offer a good example of this.
Show where the money will go:
Another way is by stating on your website exactly where the money will go in relation to the cause.
An example of a charity doing this famously well is Oxfam, so check them out for reference. By explaining that £20 will go towards building two toilets, donors immediately feel less detached when donating online.
Showing you listen to and appreciate your donors goes a long way when it comes to fundraising.
Give your donors options:
Offering people a range of options for how and when to donate and sustaining a dialogue with your donors immediately makes your charity appear more respectable.
The NSPCC are a prime example, offering numerous ways to donate. Not only do they offer website, phone and postal donations, they’re also affiliated with a number of well-known companies such as Ebay.
Connecting with familiar online sites shows competency and creates a sense of familiarity that makes online payments a lot less nerve-racking for donors.
Take on advice:
Another great way to show willingness is by offering a review option on your site so that users can give their opinion on your site or your charity in general.
This could be regarding the user-friendliness, the donation process or the content of your site or broader marketing material. An example of a charity doing this is Mind.
Hopefully you’re already implementing some of these as they’re great ways of reassuring donors about you.
If you found this useful, you can read more on some of the topics discussed:
- Five top tips for cleaning data efficiently
- A beginners guide to SEO for charities
- How your charity could benefit from CRM software