What that attention also means, of course, is greater scrutiny. When people are making a conscious decision to select your organisation from a list of others, they’re not just thinking about what your charity does, but they’re also likely to be increasingly influenced by media/social media coverage of your ‘brand’, and what you stand for. Issues like the diversity of your board or where you hold your investment funds, suddenly become much more important, and how you think about these and how you build ESG into your strategy will determine whether these are considered risks or opportunities.
The changes to charitable giving also potentially create a more level playing field for smaller organisations. If, for example, your small, local charity appeals to me on the street, they may get the change from my pocket or they may even convince me to sign up to a standing order. However, if you engage my attention enough and you get me to add you as a beneficiary to the shopping app I subscribe to and integrate that into my monthly spend without it costing me anything, the benefits could be far greater.
It creates more competition and, alongside the organisation that garners the most attention, individuals will also select those that make it easiest to engage, so efficiency too becomes a necessity. That plays into a need we’re already seeing amongst charities at all levels – the need for new and different skills to enable them to adapt to a future where donors have more choice, where they are influenced by a range of motivations, where they are sensitive to time and engagement.