2020: Digital Trends for Charities


Digital is undoubtedly at the core of 2020 charity trends. 

Technological advancements in most aspects of our lives are indirectly changing the way donors want to interact and to engage with the organizations they support.  

Non-profits must keep updated with changing donor expectations and sector trends or they will be left behind… along with the communities they aim to serve.

Many of the UK’s charities have donors over the age of sixty, likewise their volunteers.

It is imperative that charities find donors and supporters within younger generations, to future proof their very existence, and ensure their incredible work goes on to benefit that very same younger generation. 


Let’s take a look at 5 trends to watch out for in 2020 and beyond:


1. Improved use of data and Post - Brexit compliance

While GDPR has disclosed plentiful data on donors and beneficiaries, it looks like the legislation around consent has negatively impacted many charities. This is because charities, wanting to ensure compliance, changed tactics so they only contact or process the data of supporters who actively opt-in. 

This, though, can also be seen as a great list-cleaning opportunity.

Next year, charities will continue to use their smaller, but definitely more engaged lists to pay closer attention to what’s working – including personalisation, marketing automation, etc.

No doubt charities are confused and concerned about what will happen in terms of GDPR post-Brexit as well. Chances are the Act will be updated so that GDPR guidelines are worked into UK law, but for now, we simply have to wait and see.


2. Tap to donate

Having some loose change in your pocket is becoming a thing of the past. 

Technology is rapidly advancing and the user behaviours of younger generations are different from previous ones. The fundraising landscape has shifted – and charities need to adapt. 

Almost three quarters (73%) of charities say street giving is failing because of this and in 2018 contactless payment adoption increased threefold, with people in the UK tapping over 3 billion times and spending £25 billion through contactless payments.

Investment in contactless solutions is sure to be a focus next year, not to mention a key to success.


3. Mobile-first experiences

Stats reveal that 79% of UK adults now own a smartphone, with mobile being preferred device, especially among the younger generations of donors.

Charities need to channel their efforts into creating seamless mobile experience next year - from websites and donation forms to digital campaigns - to inspire them to support their cause.


4. Enhance voice search

Voice search is growing exponentially, year on year bases and is becoming popular with all age groups, especially the younger generation: it is predicted that half of all searches over the internet will be voice-based by 2020. 

British Heart Foundation became the first UK charity to allow donations through Amazon Alexa and another good example is the ‘Taking care of your breasts’ skill from Breast Cancer Care, which talks women through checking for early signs of breast cancer. 

Charity supporters, the youngest in the first place, will be more likely to be looking for something that will fit into their daily lives and make a task as donations easier and quicker. 


5. Explore Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (or VR) can enable charities to create immersive and engaging experiences for their audiences and to generate an even bigger impact on donors.

An example is the VR dementia training from Alzheimer’s Research that uses virtual reality to help healthcare professionals improve their understanding of the symptoms and challenges of dementia.

Another example is the Aleppo Bombing campaign from Amnesty International who distributed virtual reality headsets on the streets of London and Manchester, showing the devastated streets of Aleppo and bringing the immediacy of the situation in Syria to people.

Done right, VR campaigns can be powerful, memorable ways to personalise an issue and help bring a charity’s work closer to home.




Category: Mezzanine