CDE project 11c digital section 1: the approach
- Written by
- The Commission on the Donor Experience
- April 28, 2017
Digital, mobile and email fundraising did not feature a great deal in the Etherington report of 2015 - or the maelstrom of media focus following the tragic death of Olive Cooke. Permission for email and mobile marketing has always been ‘opt in’ based - as opposed to ‘opt out’. In this regard it places more control in the hands of the supporter from a default position and thus is less likely to create some of the excesses highlighted last year.
However, while permission based marketing in the digital world starts from a position of strength - the amount of personal data that can be and is collected from users every minute of every day - means that data security is paramount and data must be collected in a sensitive manner; and always with the known permission of the user.
Further - fundraising via digital still lags surprisingly behind other methods of giving - and one of the main reasons for this is because charities are not creating fantastic online experiences for supporters. 90% of the UK population regularly uses the internet  and spend on average 2 hours 51 minutes per day online .
The audience is there - yet, according to a study by CAF in 2015, only 16% of people gave online last year - compared to 55% of people who give a one off cash gift . This feels intuitively unbalanced and reflects poorly on the sector as a whole. Though, a similar discrepancy applies in the commercial world. Despite the rise of Amazon and other online retailers, in the US people still do over 90% of their shopping offline.
While charities struggle to keep up with the latest technological developments we must recognise and then address the skills gap in staff - at all levels - junior, mid weight and senior in regards to digital marketing techniques and a lack of investment in digital infrastructures that support a smooth and fulfilling supporter experience.
To create this guidance we gathered a group of interested digital marketers from across the sector together to formulate a best practice checklist. We sought input from a wide group of sector practitioners and then found examples of case studies and data to illustrate.