TikTok’s growth among fundraisers revealed

More than half of charities are either already using TikTok for their fundraising or are trialling the video specialist social media platform, research has revealed.

Online fundraising firm Enthuse found that the platform is “gaining acceptance amongst charities”, with 34% already using TikTok to engage supporters and donors. Meanwhile, a further 22% are piloting its use.

“The success and rapid growth of TikTok, particularly with younger age groups, makes it an important area for charities to be considering,” said Enthuse.

Latest estimates show that the number of TikTok users in the UK is set to reach 16.8m by 2024. Among the most successful charities on the platform is the RNLI, which became the second biggest charity on the platform last year just days within its launch.

@rnli Cat and crew made it out of the water safe and sound 💙 #RNLI #CatRescue #SwimmingCat ♬ original sound - RNLI


In addition, Enthuse found that “podcasts are also becoming a staple with just under a third (30%) using them for digital fundraising, and a further 26% trialling them.

The figures have been revealed in Enthuse’s Charity Pulse 2023 report, which found that “charities are continually looking at different innovations to bring into digital fundraising”.

Contactless giving is being used by almost three in five charities and just under half of charities are using QR codes, with a further quarter trialling their use.

Use of crypto currency donations is still in its infancy for charities, however. Just 3% are already using them for donations, with a further 11% trialling them.

Interest in crypto donations looks set to increase soon though, with a further 37% of charities telling Enthuse they are actively researching their use.

Artificial Intelligence

Another area of tech innovation in fundraising to gain only tentative interest is the use of virtual or augmented reality tech. Only 6% of charities are using this, with a further 5% trialling such tech and the majority (58%) saying they have no plans to introduce this form of technology.

“That puts into perspective how far these technologies have to go before any real widespread adoption,” said Enthuse.

Elsewhere, researchers found that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is of increasing interest to fundraisers, to help personalise “donor journeys”.

While only 4% are currently using it and a further 12% are trialling AI, more than half of charities (52%) are researching it.

“This is the largest area currently being actively researched by good causes and shows the importance of making digital journeys as effective as possible,” said Enthuse.

Challenges

Fundraisers biggest concerns around digital fundraising focuses on platforms’ use of data, especially to contact their supporters. This was highlighted as the biggest concern among 64%, up from 60% last year.

Another challenge is a drop, by six percentage points, in the development of in-house skills to run digital campaigns.

Overall, there has also been a drop, of five percentage points, in concerns around developing social media strategy. Enthuse says this is “a sign potentially of charities becoming more digitally savvy over the last year”.

While seven in ten small charities and almost two thirds of larger organisations say their income stated the same or increased in 2022, nearly two in five medium sized charities said the year saw them face volatile or lower fundraising.

This year most charities (81%) plan to get involved in physical activity mass participation events, such as marathons and fun runs, Enthuse also found.

“It’s clear from the research that the clever use of technology will be vital at a time where resources are stretched and engaging supporters is paramount,” said Enthuse founder Chester Mojay-Sinclare.

“It’s important that the third sector embraces innovation by tapping into the potential of tech like AI and improving user journeys with the use of end-to-end integrated solutions.”

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