Charity campaigns are becoming less effective, analysis finds

Charity campaigning has become less effective in the past two years, according to data published this week.

Campaigns were less likely to generate responses from potential donors and supporters in 2021 than in 2019, the Data & Marketing Association said.

Charities achieved 2.3 effects per campaign last year, compared with 3.4 effects three years ago.

Effects include persuading people to donate to a charity, raising awareness of a charity’s brand, directing people to share social media content, and improving a charity’s financial position.

The analysis is included in DMA’s report Meaningful Marketing Measurement: Charity Focus.

The research, which analysed 135 charity campaigns, found that the voluntary sector had been more effective at campaigning over the past five years than the public sector, and performed especially well when campaigning for donations or signing up supporters.

But charities performed less well on raising brand awareness than other sectors, DMA said.

The researchers recommended that charities ensure they exploit all available channels for campaigning.

Tim Bond, director of insight at DMA, said: “A well-integrated multichannel campaign must be considered when looking to arrest the decline in charity campaign impact.

“In a sector where short-term charitable appeals can be triggered by changing global events, it is vital to understand which channels are best at generating the donations vital for achieving campaign success.”

For example, campaigners may want to use television if they are hoping to both raise brand awareness and generate more income, Bond said. The research describes television as “a vital component of campaign planning” for charities.

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