Latest report shows that special events and social networking are the most widely-used methods of fundraising.

UK charities are increasingly embracing social media, mobile, and special events for fundraising and donor recruitment, according to a report by Blackbaud, a leading provider of software and services for not-for-profit organisations.

The annual State of the Nonprofit Industry survey of more than 1,500 respondents from nine countries, 301 from the UK, showed that an organisation’s ability to recruit new donors, retain existing donors and increase individual contributions was directly related to the number of strategies employed in these efforts. In the UK, optimism about an organisation’s ability to find potential donors increased from 38% for organisations using fewer than three strategies to 59% for organisations using more than three strategies.

“Optimism in the not-for-profit sector varies based largely on how an organisation communicates with its constituents and the technologies it employs,” said Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s chief executive officer. “Generally, charities that adopt multiple engagement channels have a more optimistic outlook on their ability to recruit new donors, retain existing donors and grow individual contributions in the coming year.”

The research found that 89% of UK respondents had used special events for fundraising over the past 12 months, making this the most widely-used way to fundraise and recruit donors. 84% of respondents reported they either were already using social media for fundraising, or planned to in the next 12 months. Additionally, three out of four respondents will use scheduled meetings with major donors to drive donations and 57% will use peer-to-peer fundraising in the next 12 months.

“Building a long-term relationship with donors is far more valuable to not-for-profits than a one-time gift,” said Martin Campbell, Blackbaud Europe’s director of strategy and innovation. “Social media, email and mobile allow a reciprocal relationship between charities and donors and enable a not-for-profit to communicate what they do far more effectively. What is important is that all channels are integrated and charities have a complete view of the increasingly complex donor and supporter landscape.”

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