Australian charities need to become more savvy in the way in which they market themselves if they hope to capture that elusive donation dollar which has been on the decline since the Global Financial Crisis in 2007. According to the World Giving Index, which had Australia placed at number one in 2010, we have now slipped down to 3rd place behind both the United States of America and Ireland. This has coincided with multiple natural disasters from bushfires in Victoria to cyclones and floods in Queensland.
Individuals in Australia are still generous but they are channeling their generosity differently. Charities therefore need to embrace both social media and mobile devices, as these are increasingly becoming the platforms where giving is taking place. People are promoting the causes they support via Facebook and Twitter. Corporate institutions are using donation incentives to draw customers to their brands. Websites are being used as a new way that charities are using to both promote and collect money for their cause. With the rise of Paypal and other electronic payment methods, people can make donations anonymously with the click of a button.
Charities need to move into this space to promote the needs that they are raising money to support.
People are increasing using workplace giving, to continue the generosity that Australians are famous for, while maximising their take home pay. Australians can support their favorite charity with little or no change to their take home pay as these donations are deducted pretax. Therefore they are paying less tax and their tax saving is going towards their chosen cause. Many businesses are matching dollar for dollar the contributions made by their employees.
People are donating their time and as the adage goes, time is money. Corporations are releasing their workforce to work in their chosen charity for a day every month. Many charitable organisations are using these individuals as well as retired professional volunteers to do increasingly skilled roles. This releases money that would otherwise be spent on administration, to go towards where it is needed most.
Many charities are enlisting the help of major corporations to collect donations for them. Consumers are given the option to add a donation amount to their weekly grocery shopping. Banks are getting involved too where they are also promoting charitable causes openly in their branches.
However, charity shopping is where the money is. As people fall on hard times, they turn to opportunity shops to meet their needs for clothing and other household goods. In these troubled times demand is outstripping supply. More donated goods are needed to meet the needs of those who cannot afford to buy anything else and this in turn provides much needed funds for the charity to continue their work in the community.
In Australia, there will always be enough funding for charities, if they are willing to make the effort to engage with the government to receive the grants that are on offer as well as engage with the community in new ways, in this the 21st century.
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