15 May 5 ways charities are using Technology to help funding efforts
Giving is not just about making a donation; it’s about making a difference. With Technology, charities are starting to improve the way they fundraise, but there is still a long way to go.
According to a recent study by Tech Trust, 59% of UK charities still do not have a digital strategy in place, with the majority lacking investment in the tools and training needed to implement it. Investing in Technology is a top priority for 9 out of 10 charities in the UK sector with many not knowing the best strategy template to start from.
As a charity solutions expert, ATAMA is on hand to talk you through the 5 main ways our customers are embracing Technology to help with the vital act of funding promotion.
1. Alternative payment options
Finding new ways to pay has helped charities to improve their donation rates. By adopting digital fundraising, the House of Lords Select Committee’s ‘Stronger charities for a stronger society’ report suggests that charities have increased their overall donations by as much as 600 per cent. Seamless payment options like PayPal and Apple Pay, for example, have been adopted by many groups. Cancer Research UK, for example, installed 10 smart benches in London at the beginning of last year that offered Wi-Fi access and charging ports. Users were able to donate £2 using contactless payments.
2. Mobile apps
Mobile apps provide a way for users to get closer to the charity but also for the charity to get closer to those within their more extensive public networks. Apps enable constant access on personal devices, creating a flow of information. As well as helping charities to understand their supporters, it also helps those users to manage their interactions with the organisation. Oxfam’s My Oxfam app, for example, allows users to monitor the amounts that they donate, look at previous donation history and view a map that shows where the money has been spent.
3. Social Media
Social media sites have become a forum for sharing news, campaign information and stories to a mass audience. There is little doubt that social media is becoming interwoven with nearly every aspect of our lives. Charities are using social media more and more to reach new audiences as there is a need to inspire their audiences to act in real life by fundraising or writing to their MPs. The management of these platforms has been a significant cause for concern though, with many charities raising the question of best practice to monitor and track on a regular basis.
4. Virtual Reality
VR offers a powerful tool for engagement, showing exactly what happens in a given situation. This has obvious benefits when applied to charitable causes, building emotive narratives to drive support. The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) was one of the first charities to publish a 360° video. In 2015, a virtual experience from the crew’s perspective was captured on the River Thames. Samaritans also used a 360° video as part of their #welisten campaign. The aim was to demonstrate the difference between listening and hearing and show how the charity delivers its service to those in need.
5. Artificial Intelligence
One way in which charities could take advantage of AI is in adapting AI assistants and chatbots. For example, Arthritis Research UK has partnered with Microsoft (an ATAMA partner) to pilot a service based on Watson AI which informs users about the condition. In the same vein, AI’s growing natural language processing (NLP) capabilities could help to overcome language barriers. Artificial Intelligence may also streamline research processes by sorting through academic data.
ATAMA for Charities
By working with the NCVO and the Charities Buying Group, ATAMA is providing day to day technology solutions in hardware, software and supporting services that are helping make a difference with funding and brand awareness with UK Charity groups. Our bespoke Charity page outlines the partners we work with, including Apple, HP, Adobe, Microsoft and Google, as well as our resolute supporting services in ISP, Cloud and Hosting – https://atama.tech/charities/
To speak with one of technology consultants on how ATAMA can support your charity, call on 0203 9292 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For an instant quote on how we can support your charity, fill in the form below.