Rapid increase in online tribute fundraising over last year, study finds

Online fundraising by charity supporters in memory of a relative or friend or as a tribute has grown by 46% over the last 12 months, a study by an online donation platform has found.

Between 2020 and 2021 the number of online donations to each tribute and in-memory fund also increased from 20 to 23

The study suggests that in-memory fundraising is set to grow further in the coming years. Outside of tribute funds, in-memory was named by 12% of donors as their main reason for giving in 2021, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 10%.

Tribute and in-memory fundraising revenue is also set to increase further, the study suggests. Of pages set up, 83% went on to raise funds last year, up from 74% in 2020.

The average sum raised per tribute fund is £943, found the study, which is based on analysis of donors using the goDonate online donation platform.

The increase in in-memory giving comes despite a decline in the death rate post Covid, from 695,782 in 2021 to 667,039 this year.

“The stats show that now is the time for charities to invest in online tribute funds and in-memory programmes,” said the platform’s managing director Vicky Reeves.

“Many organisations are already doing so and bringing in valuable income from this
channel. It’s important to remember, though, that successful tribute funds and in-
memory initiatives comprise many different components.

“From data collection and management, to using eye-catching creative to engage
donors, it’s vital to get those things right.”

The study also saw a slight fluctuation in season tribute fundraising, with 2021 seeing a slight increase in the proportion of campaigns being created in the first few months of the year and in the build up to Christmas.

Two thirds of in-memory fundraisers are female, the study found.

In addition, six in ten of those who set up funds select the option to receive communications from charities by email. This is higher than the rate of 46% recorded for more general charity online donation forms.

Among advice given by goDonate around in-memory giving is to ensure fundraising campaigns are personalised to make them “as relevant as possible to their supporters”.

It cites the example of Battersea’s Pet Tribute Fund which “is an avenue for dedicated pet owners to express their devotion whilst raising funds for a cause they care about”.

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