Are you reaching this generous group?
It’s a tough time for fundraising. A crowded sector with increased regulation, a skills shortage, cuts to traditional funding streams and countless good causes fighting for donations. These challenges come against the backdrop of economic and technological change.
Charitable organisations are under estimating the spending power of the Christian community
Charitable organisations need to adapt to these new circumstances and find different ways to raise funds, reach new audiences and make it easier for them to donate. But one community, which is often overlooked, is Christians.
The most recent survey on UK Christians’ attitudes to charitable giving – the Christian Opinion Panel 2017 – shows that Christians are more likely to donate than others in the UK. And with Christianity being the largest represented religion in the UK (according to the 2011 Census), it is an untapped audience.
The panel was made up of 546 UK Christians and sourced through Christian TV viewers, social channels and churches. And the report revealed that 87% of Christians regularly donate to charity – considerably higher than that of the whole UK population.
Reaching UK Christians
Christian communities depend on good communications to be able to thrive and grow but finding information about this donor group is often difficult, which makes it a struggle for charitable organisations to effectively engage and connect with them.
The insight from the Christian Opinion Panel on the media habits and donating patterns can guide charitable organisations’ media and marketing strategies, ensuring they have the right message through the right channel, and successfully reaching and engaging with this large donor base.
The research showed a preference to donate to charities that support children and young people, the homeless/housing, overseas aid/disaster relief and of course Christian charities.
The Sky platform has 18 religious channels which allow direct reach and engagement with this audience. Mainstream TV cannot offer the same level of connection. The research also informed that Christian TV viewers like to donate by direct debt.
A legacy shouldn’t be a mystery
The survey highlighted that legacy giving is a missed opportunity for charities.
Although UK Christians give regularly, and generously, to both charitable causes and their church, and despite 79% of donors feeling engaged with those they support, only 29% of them considered donating a percentage of their estate as a legacy gift upon their death. Seventeen per cent of donors said they will not leave a legacy gift, and 54% said they were ‘unsure’ about leaving a legacy donation. Importantly, the survey also revealed that 58% of participants did not know how to leave a legacy gift.
However, of the 29% that said they would be leaving a legacy more than 50% said they would leave anything from 25% to all of their estate.
Charitable causes could benefit immeasurably from getting engaged Christian donors to consider a charitable donation as a legacy gift. Through the right messaging, educational material and encouragement, charities can capture the imagination of donors, getting them to think about the donations they could give on their death through life insurance funds or sales from their estate. Using the most effective mediums for this purpose, such as Christian TV and websites, could make a big difference to the growth and survival of charitable organisations.
Positive news in unsettling times
Since the UK voted to leave the EU, the Sterling has dropped in value having a knock-on effect on the financial security and spending habits of the UK population. So it’s positive and encouraging that, despite this, Christians are still giving generously. However, charitable organisations need to build a relationship directly with this audience and engage them into action to donate.
Emma Freeman Tinsley, Managing Director at TMH Media