Declining trust levels for charity DRTV campaigns mean that charities need to be more transparent with their television advertising, according to the fundraising director at the creative agency WPN Chameleon.
Gail Cookson, whose agency works with clients including Oxfam and the Children’s Trust, was responding to the report Fundraising Media DNA 2016/17, published on Friday, which showed a decline in the proportion of donors regarding DRTV as trustworthy and authoritative as a fundraising channel.
The report, which was released by the Institute of Fundraising and the marketing analysis firm fast.MAP, showed that DRTV received a score of 96 for trustworthiness on fast.MAP’s index this year, down from 132 in 2015, while it received a score of 108 for authoritativeness, compared with 137 last year. A score of 100 is the average across all channels.
The report says: "Generally, DRTV is seen as authoritative and trustworthy, though both attributes score significantly less well in these areas than in 2015, suggesting that charities may want to review the content to address this."
Cookson said: "The alarming drops in the ‘authority’ and ‘trustworthy’ indices from last year show that transparency becomes ever more important."
She said it demonstrated that it was crucial to get the message right in television adverts. "DRTV works best when it combines straightforward fundraising metrics with messages appropriate to the emotional pull of video," she said.
"Clever ‘advertisingy’ creative simply won’t cut it. It’s vital to understand the genuine motivations of the potential donor and to ensure they are given suitable means to turn those emotions into measurable actions."
The research also found that, for the second year running, DRTV was the most engaging fundraising channel, with a score of 140 on the index, compared with 121 for direct mail and 60 for the telephone.