What the rise in digital fundraising jobs means for you

Digital fundraising

CharityJob | 6 March 2019

Last year, the number of digital fundraising jobs posted on CharityJob increased by 20%. That means more and more charities are investing in technologically-savvy employees with their finger on the digital pulse. CharityJob's Stephanie Dotto looks at what this means, and two of the digital trends you are likely to see emerge.

It’s no surprise that the digital space is leading the charge in fundraising. According to a recent study by the Blackbaud Institute, the youngest donors are the ones giving the largest amounts of money. Last year, Gen Zers and Millennials contributed £2.7 billion, making up 30% of total donations in the UK. Considering how dependent this demographic is on technology and social media, it’s no wonder that more and more charities are investing in digital fundraising specialists.

How is the recruitment game changing?

In 2018, the number of digital fundraising jobs posted on CharityJob increased 20% on the previous year, and the amount of people searching for these roles went from 12% to 21%. Although there was a rise in the need for digital skills across all jobs, this was nearly two-fold for fundraising. 

Donors are using more digital channels than ever before, which means its harder to capture and maintain their attention. This, in turn, is fueling the growing problem of ‘choice anxiety’. How can organisations make sure their message stands out amongst the mass of charity appeals?

The answer lies in recruitment. More charities are investing in fundraisers with insight into social media, email marketing, crowdfunding and other growing digital trends. The digital capacity of UK charities has almost doubled since 2014, which has influenced a clear shift in the industry’s mindset. This means organisations are investing in digital solutions and technologically-savvy employees.

Why you should invest in new skills

Gone are the days of getting by because of your exceptional people skills – now, you need to be able to use those soft skills in a more technical capacity. True, the relationships you build are vital, but so is the overarching fundraising strategy. How can you break through the hundreds of ads people consume on social media every day? And how can you connect with someone on an emotional level with so many degrees of separation?

You need to build savvy through continuous skill development and training. The internet is constantly evolving and the best way to stay on top of digital trends is by keeping yourself informed – read blogs, follow experts and attend the occasional fundraising conference. The more connected you are with the shifts in the industry, the more valuable you’ll be to your organisation and any charity you want to apply for in the future.

Two digital fundraising trends 

To help get you started, we’ve pinpointed two digital fundraising trends you’re likely to encounter.

1. Hyper-personalisation

Did you know that Netflix uses their individual viewing history to improve their users experience? Their sophisticate technology changes not only the recommended shows and movies you see, but it even swaps out cover images to appeal to a myriad of different tastes. So why can’t you do something similar with your fundraising campaigns? With so much data at our fingertips, there are a range of different ways we can personalise and target our audience to improve donations. Take, for example, Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal campaign. Using geolocation, they matched existing supporters with fund-collection sites. Each email included a real-time, personalised maps of the closest collection site, making it easier for donors to get involved.

2. Chatbots

Messaging apps are on the rise. Facebook Messenger is used by over 1 billion people every month, surpassing Facebook itself. This presents an amazing opportunity for your non-profit – to engage with donors through artificial intelligence and chatbots. Take, for example, WaterAid’s bot, ‘Talk to Sellu’. Through Facebook Messenger, they used immersive storytelling to introduce users to Sellu, a farmer, fisherman and father living in the remote village of Tombohuaun, which raised funds for their winter appeal.

Want to find out how you can develop some of these skills? Take a look at the courses available. Find a new role that makes the most of your skills on the CharityJob page.

Stephanie Dotto, Content and SEO Lead at CharityJob

 The IoF's Digital Fundraising Conference is taking place on Monday 25 March which includes sessions on how the digital age is changing fundraising, and on embedding digital across the organisation. Find out more here.