charity, Direct Debit, Direct Debit Guarantee, donation
Direct Debit, News
07, JUN 2017

We work with a number of charities setting up, streamlining and supporting their direct debit operations. One thing that’s very clear to us is that whichever charity we’re working with, every donation counts. So how do you go about creating a flexible donation options that captures as many donations as possible? And where does direct debit sit within that?

Understand how people want to donate

It’s undeniably the age of the smartphone, the age of convenience and of the ‘here and now’. A generation is growing up being able to do pretty much anything with a swipe of a finger – so for them, donating must tap (or swipe) in to that. As the Chief Marketing Officer of Just Giving, Charles Wells is reported as saying in an article we read recently:

Young people care as much, if not more, than some older people,” But they prefer to support individuals and give spontaneously when prompted by something on Facebook or the news, “when they feel that moment of caring” and not because someone has stopped them in the street”

To capture those donations prompted by spontaneity, by those who want to donate ‘here and now’, it makes sense for charities to offer flexible donation options. Technology is developing at an incredible rate. The ability to donate by text and through apps gives a new generation of philanthropists the tools they need to support causes that seize their imagination.

However, it’s easy to be swept away with enthusiasm for this new technology, forgetting that there are many people keen to support charities, yet are unfamiliar with or unwilling to embrace it whatever their reason. Some are concerned about security issues, others simply don’t have or use smartphones.

Capture ongoing donations

Charities should also take the opportunity presented by the spontaneous donation to invite that donor to continue to make regular donations. The result is the need for flexible donation options, an approach very similar to the ‘omni-channel’ payment structures that many businesses are adopting.

The spontaneous donation gives you the opportunity to capture data about the donor and follow up with email or text communications (subject to data protection rules) and use that to turn a one-off donation into something more regular. With a robust direct debit payment system in place, you are in a great position to offer donors of every generation the ability to donate regularly, and securely, supported with the Direct Debit Guarantee.

In the same way, direct debit solutions provide the answer for those who wish to donate but do not wish to use a smart phone or other mobile technology to do so. Direct debit has been around for over 40 years, and it’s something that most people are familiar with. Most households use direct debit to pay at least some of their household bills – 73% of all household bills are paid this way, and it’s a popular and trusted way to make donations to charity.

Direct debit works both ways

Just as direct debit offers a donor, whoever they are, familiarity, security and the ability to make regular payments to a cause, encouraging direct debit donations is of benefit to the charity . While no one doubts the value of spontaneous donations made during a benefit concert – as the recent One Love Manchester event has reminded us recently – regular donations allow charities a degree of certainty. With an idea of what is coming in each month, they are able to plan spending and the support they can offer, safe in the knowledge that they can afford it.

If you’re not yet offering direct debit as a means of donation, we can help. We provide direct debit training to help organisations get started and maintain a successful direct debit solution. We’re also a BACS accredited direct debit bureau and can manage all aspects of your direct debit on your behalf. Get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you capture more of those vital donations!