Laura Croudace interviews Alex Srivastava from Open as part of the Women in Tech series.
Strategy Director Alex shares her insights into creating incredible fundraising campaigns.
She has worked for international development charities, such as Unicef and Save the Children, but also has experience of an international educational technology startup.
At Open she brings together data, audience insight and sector knowledge to help organisations solve the problems they are facing. This has included working on the company’s benchmarking report, as well as developing new products or enhancing existing products.
She describes herself as “one of the lockdown babies” as she joined Open in June 2020 during lockdown.
Alex talks through the biggest changes she has seen in fundraising during the pandemic. She refers to the benchmarking project involving 20 organisations which the team worked on at the end of last year and again at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
They found major trends including changes in consumer behaviour. These included:
many people trying out online banking and shopping for the first time and experiencing its convenience. She does not see that trend reversing for many people.a major increase in cash giving, in the form of the many emergency appeals launched. There was a similar rapid growth in regular giving online.the damage done to income from events and retail.great creativity amongst charities.an increase in integration at many charities, moving not just with one voice but with one message.
Alex recommends checking and rechecking your charity’s online checkout. How can you make it easier and quicker to use?
Try running an integrated campaign, because there have been lots of good results.
Don’t assume we are having a joint experience as a nation. People are experiencing or feeling very different about things. The ‘joint experience’ of last year is many charities managed to rally people behind a sense of togetherness. This year that approach might well not work.
Be reactive to people’s needs, and how their needs are changing.
Don’t take your foot off the pedal in terms of fundraising.
Take the exciting and terrifying opportunity to test, innovate and push forward.
Alex recalls plenty of successful campaigns at Open which she was proud of, including Save Generation COVID with Unicef, NSPCC’s Still Here for Children, and WWF’s Climate Crisis Fund campaign that came out of their curiosity about the decline of cash giving and discovering there were new sources of donors whom they’d not previously considered.
She reflects that the British public are incredibly generous and care deeply about charitable causes. “We just need to continue to adapt to their needs… and to make sure we continue to offer them an excellent experience of giving”.
More Women in Tech
Seven ways to fundraise with video (20 April 2021)
Stay tuned for more Women in Tech interviews from Laura Croudace, Technology Impact Evangelist at Cirrico and CirriCommit.