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Mobile giving for arts and heritage organisations

Sue Davies, Managing Director of DONATE, on how their platform can help cultural organisations kick-start their fundraising.

King Richard III. Photo by VeteranMP used under Creative Commons

Giving to charity is part of the British national character. The UK is now fourth in the league of the most charitable countries in the world. So, if you are an arts or heritage charity, it makes sense to market your fundraising needs and turn your most valuable asset – your audience – into committed and regular financial supporters.

To help make this possible, we created DONATE. DONATE is a mobile giving platform that transforms the way the public can give to cultural and heritage organisations. Through a single portal, and using all the current digital communication tools: text, SMS, QR code or NFC technology, everyone can give to their choice of favourite arts and heritage projects across the country.

With DONATE, it is easy for anyone to show their support for your organisation at moments of emotional intensity – whether they’re standing in front of a beautiful painting, or as the curtain is coming down on a great performance. The aim is to democratise philanthropy in the UK by enabling everyone to give to the causes they love, in situ, using their mobile device.

Launched by the National Funding Scheme in March 2013, Donate now works with nearly 300 charitable partners across the UK on their fundraising campaigns and has been described as a ‘21st century collecting tin’, but with huge advantages. It’s free to register and use – we just take a minority share of any Gift Aid made on a donation to cover administrative and financial costs. DONATE provides invaluable donor data, and all the financial aspects are handled by us via our payment providers (Barclaycard, SmartPay and PayPal).

We want our partner organisations to be creative and imaginative in the way they present their campaigns to the general public, and provide logos, signage templates, posters and leaflets to help get you started.

Leicester Cathedral Charitable Trust recently raised £500 in two days via the platform as part of its King Richard III Campaign. The Watts Gallery in Surrey raised nearly £10,000 in two months, and Sheffield Theatres Trust received 600 donations by putting out a call to their audiences. The key to the success of these organisations was that they ran great press and marketing campaigns around their projects to really drive audience awareness, bring in new audiences and create a general sense of buy-in and support.

We believe DONATE is the future of fundraising for the cultural sector – both for big and small organisations. Visit the DONATE website to see case studies, details of existing partner organisations, and information on how to join.

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