Ed Gairdner, COO of The Good Exchange, offers his predictions for the year ahead.

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration

With the continued squeeze on funding from central government, local communities remain reliant upon local charitable organisations to fill the gaps. With economic prospects uncertain in politically turbulent times, this will likely continue into 2020. As a result, we’re likely to see increased collaboration become a necessity between local charities and good causes to pool over-stretched resources and make a difference.

In a recent interview Jayne Woodley, CEO of Oxfordshire Community Foundation, discusses the challenges she sees facing charitable funders today and how collaboration could be a solution.

Funders are at an interesting point because we’re in tightened economic times and we all have to realise that there is less money. [Funders] are never going to have enough money for all the organisations that apply to us. We need to be thinking about different partnerships. What The Good Exchange offers is not competition, but a way of collaborating very differently.

The true cost of charitable giving platforms takes centre stage

In 2020, the conversation around the cost of charitable giving platforms is set to continue. Most users of the big-name platforms will now be familiar with this since the option to cover platform fees has become mainstream. But it remains to be seen if this increased awareness will lead to a fully transparent conversation about what the percentage of these fees that is actually profit.

As a not-for-profit, The Good Exchange has recently announced its move to make the platform free to use for funders and donors with the fundraising organisations holding the responsibility to pay the small platform service fee. Funders and donors have the option to cover the service fee if they wish but neither party will be charged fees for profit. The Good Exchange is determined to change the status quo for the benefit of the entire sector and hope to see wider adoption in 2020.

Contactless payments drive change in the third sector

As we progress ever closer towards a contactless society, contactless payments will continue to dominate in 2020 presenting charities with the opportunity to simplify grants and gather topical near-live data to help drive regional specific campaigns.  

Contactless payments can be transferred to the destination charity within minutes, versus cash which has to be counted, banked and then transferred. The simplicity of this process is time-saving, a crucial benefit for time-strapped employees. Another benefit of contactless payments is that the devices collect near-live data on the donors allowing campaigns to be targeted based on the findings, for example, by identifying the most effective time of day and the best locations and events to reach out to potential donors.

As contactless payments permeate further through society and as fewer and fewer people carry cash, it is important that the charity sector embraces this change and doesn’t fall behind.

Charities embrace data management

Closing the funding gap will continue to be an aim for charities in 2020. Charities are constantly collecting data, that of donors, applicants and all those they interact with. The tightening of data protection and data management regulations through GDPR and PECR (The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) alongside the Data Protection Act have made this task much more complicated. The charities that effectively monitor and manage this data will likely begin to take the lead on more strategic planning and targeted campaigns as well as effective engagement with both donors and grant-giving organisations.

As well as informing campaigns, the data charities collect can be used to streamline internal processes. Effective data management will help charities run more effectively, generating insight into where time could be reallocated to further enhance output.