UK charities miss out on donations by neglecting mobile

Using traditional channels – such as direct mail – to engage older audiences may be costing charities precious donations.

New research has found that 3.9 per cent of elderly donors in the UK now donate via text message on their mobiles, compared to only two per cent in the US and none at all in Canada. Moreover, it found that 4.1 per cent of older donors give money through their social media channels, predominantly Facebook. This is more than double the amount in Canada (two per cent) and four times as much as in the US (one per cent), reports.

The report, entitled Time for UK Fundraising to Look Up, was conducted by Xtraordinary Fundraising, Forster Communication and Blackbaud. Its primary focus was on the donation habits of UK residents born between 1946 and 1964 – aka ‘baby boomers’ – and those born before 1945, collectively named ‘civics’, reports.

For the study, researchers interviewed 1,498 older UK donors, as well as 809 in Canada and 1,014 in the US.

Peter Gilheany, director at Forster Communications, said: “Businesses are only just waking up to older people as a lucrative consumer audience but many charities already have close relationships with them as donors. Those relationships could be a lot deeper and more numerous if charities invest more in integrated approaches to this audience.”

Xtraordinary Fundraising co-founder Stephen Butler added: “The days of mopping up older donors just through direct mail are really over.”