Leading UK charities must embrace digital technology if they are to survive, that is the stark warning given by the head of USA website GoFundMe.
Mark Solomon was in London this week to launch a partnership with the Scouts movement that, will encourage young people to identify good causes or charities and work with their Scout leaders to launch GoFundMe campaigns to raise money.
GoFundMe will provide tips and resources to help Scout groups tell stories, create successful fundraising campaigns and share them online.
He said” I think it’s important that traditional charities embrace digital as the primary means to communicate with their constituents and raise money.
“Direct mail, telemarketing and old-fashioned fundraising solutions worked in the past but those donor bases are now in their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and they’re not going to be around forever. So in order to connect with the next generation of potential givers it all has to happen online. That’s where they live, that’s where they consume everything.”
GoFundme created a unique selling point when they dropped their 5% levy on money raised by donors using their services instead giving donors the option of a voluntary gift. He believes this has given them a leading edge over their rivals and warns them that unless they move with the times they will struggle to survive. He explained “Either organisations slowly adapt to digital and then they flourish, or they don’t adapt and they are eaten alive. Certain charities that don’t adapt to this new paradigm aren’t going to be around in ten years, and those that do are going to flourish and be able to spend more time, money and resources on the cause rather than the administrative and fundraising side of things”
Head of Underwood Consulting Gemma Underwood believes Soloman is on the right track saying “ A key strategic aim for charities wishing to move with the times is to not only embrace digital technology themselves but to encourage/help their customers to do the same thing. There is a real danger that disadvantaged people will be left behind the wall of this brave new world unless their champions move into the digital world as quickly as possible”.