The stats that prove: ‘it’s time your charity switched to digital’

And here’s the new digital marketing strategy that guarantees you hit the ground running.

Is your charity in that scary space, stood at the digital door knowing you really need to stride through it, but you’re worried about what you’ll find on the other side?

For many smaller to medium-sized charities, embarking on a digital journey can feel like a high risk strategy. Where will you find the resource, revenue and learning to make a success of online?

And for that reason, there are still many organisations deferring that important change in working practice and investment. But the clock is now ticking on those living in digital denial. 

How COVID impacted the Third Sector

90% of charities experienced negative impact due to COVID
60% saw a significant drop in revenue
40% used reserve funds
32% experienced a shortage in volunteers
62% of charities expect future issues due to COVID.
97 charities reported insolvency
1 in 10 charities needed a COVID Relief grant
Over 50% used the furlough scheme

Source: Charity Commission

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a clear divide in strategy across the sector. Many organisations, for example, were crushed by fundraising restrictions and forced to rely heavily on reserves. However, some were able to pivot and accelerate their digital strategies to combat the change.

“The COVID statistics make difficult reading but there was one positive in that 49% had started to develop, and action, more digital activities. This is a major plus, but many of the smaller charities are yet to make a confident step forward. It’s time they found the belief to open their mind and embrace digital,” said Richard Lee, managing director of Bee Ethical.

In the past few years, Bee Ethical has developed the PACE strategy, designed to help charities successfully navigate the digital space. The mission of PACE is to support marketeers in cutting through the noise of the many digital platforms and focus on the key activities that really move the fundraising needle. 

The team at Bee Ethical is all too aware that most people don’t have the time or money to invest in Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, Google PPC or whatever the next emerging digital force will be. We know it is unrealistic to master everything overnight. Therefore, it is far smarter to pick your platforms and know where to find the biggest wins for your charity.

So what is PACE and why is it important?

PACE is about People; Audience; Content and Engagement – a focus on the tactics that minimise failure and maximise success. It has already helped to deliver record-breaking brand awareness and built fundraising funnels for the future.

“It is a strategy within the reach of every charity no matter the size  – it’s an easy-to-understand roadmap to early online success and its principles can be applied to every route to market. “PACE will take you through the digital fundraising door and put you on the road to success,” said Ben Miles, head of digital strategy at BE.

During 2021, PACE grew one Bee Ethical client’s revenues by 70%, with the strategy responsible for launching the brand from a standing start. PACE also played a part in fast-tracking the brand to becoming a recognised grant provider with annual revenues of £10m+. 

Those remarkable stats were only possible by mastering four pillars of digital marketing and narrowing down the platforms to invest in. It can really pay to keep it simple and remain focussed.

Five reasons why you need to walk through the digital marketing door

  1. Widen brand awareness and reach – start having conversations with lots of new people.
  2. Educate and inspire new donors with amazing content you’ve created – broadcast real life stories about your incredible work.
  3. Cost per acquisition of donors through online tactics can be a game-changer – it could transform your ROI.
  4. Attrition rates are frequently reduced through online acquisition – donors are making a more considered decision.
  5. When Britain is in Covid lockdown, online usage rockets – digital de-risks your fundraising activities.