building the business case for digital in your charity

I’ve pulled together stats for a presentation on why investing in digital, and in particular the new trend for mobile, is important. There’s lots of information out there if you’re prepared to do some digging. But I thought I’d share some of my own research to potentially save you the effort. Feel free to take anything useful.


  • Vodafone say 70% of new customers signing up in the UK demand a smart phone compared with just four in 10 in Europe. []
  • Mobile commerce experienced an 8% growth this Christmas []
  • In April 2010, 19% of UK consumers were already participating in mobile commerce []
  • Mobile commerce rises to 29% when you look just at the 18- to 34-year-old market []

Social media

  • This is still a rapidly growing area, with over half of the UK population being on Facebook [].
  • Social commerce is a particular trend which is on the up – Amazon and other only retailers are taking their checkouts to Facebook. (couldn’t find a link for this one)

Increasing cost efficiencies while building scalability

  • Online fundraising raises around £10 for every £1 spent on direct costs and the average donation is double that given offline (£30 compared to £15).  []
  • When targeted, the average online donation is £54. []

Charity examples

  • Oxfam Created a YouTube video after the Haitian Earthquake, a media spoke person simply talking to camera, explaining what the situation was and asking for donations. It was picked up by YouTube’s homepage where it got nearly 700,000 views, and generated £30,000. [March 2011]
  • Save the Children Created an SMS petition in 2009 and won an NMA award – as well as building awareness it reportedly boost donations at a low-cost per acquisition (just pence per SMS) [ ]
  • Disasters Emergency Committee For the Haiti Earthquake Appeal they encouraged people to text donations to a special short number. Despite being promoted almost exclusively on Twitter more than £161,000 was raised []
  • Depaul UK Had the most high-profile charity mobile app to date, more than 400,000 downloads May – July 2010. The free interactive game offers users the chance to make decisions on behalf of a young man facing homelessness. “We didn’t spend a penny on marketing,” iHobo has also raised £7,000 in small donations from 3,100 people []
  • British Heart Foundation The 50th anniversary year we launched a cross-channel campaign to build brand relationships and long-term prospects. As a result of Facebook Adverts and the natural ripple effect we recruited over 32,000 new Facebook fans within February. These individuals were acquired at a cost of 25p each and will be developed through the ongoing social media activity.
  • Zynga (social gaming production company) Not really a charity – instead a charity appeal. Farmville with its 20 million users a day raised $3m for Haiti from by donating 50% of the cost of special virtual Sweet Seeds, bought by players for their virtual farms. An initial promotion generated a donation of more than $575,000. This was repeated three times to raise the total. []

Please leave a comment with any more fantastic results and stats I should be including!

3 thoughts on “building the business case for digital in your charity

  1. I did a business case last year and I found the following article from Nielson very useful.

    The stat that did it was: ‘Ninety percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, while 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.’

  2. Pingback: beautiful bytes – plenty of evidence for developing an online strategy | beautiful world

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