Raising the Bar on Online Giving in India
It’s no secret that India is undergoing a significant transformation in the charitable/NGO space. This is being driven by a range of factors: the growth of the middle class, the recent “two percent” CSR regulations, more scrutiny of international NGOs by the Centre and, last but not least, the ongoing evolution of technology.
Those of us in the voluntary sector know that many charitable organisations in the country are struggling with building the capacity and expertise required to succeed at their equivalent of e-commerce – online fundraising. They lack knowledge of the digital behaviour of donors as well as experience with the medium. They also have to make do with tight budgets.
In this rapidly evolving reality, CAF India and Ethica Strategy identified a need to make sense of these changes. And so, the Online Giving in India: Insights to Improve Results was born.
We set out to answer the question, “Given India’s unique donor and digital environment, what are the motivations, challenges and successes of online fundraising in India today?”
We conducted lengthy interviews with leaders from 30 secular NGOS in the country spanning a range of sizes, causes, geographies and experience at online fundraising. We talked with them about a wide variety of topics from key trends in online giving in India and donor behaviour to their digital readiness, success at online fundraising and content strategies and practices.
We learned a lot from the research both in terms of the state of giving today generally and in terms of online fundraising. Donors are giving more and increasingly moving to monthly giving. As well, with the benefit of online tools and techniques, it’s easier and less resource intensive to track, thank, reactivate and communicate with donors. Similarly, it’s easier to measure and track results, and scale-up campaigns when they deliver strong results.
That said, donor loyalty does not appear to be deep or lasting, and expectations for transparency, reporting and engagement are on the rise. Meanwhile, resource constraints present challenges to building capacity and investing in the right tools. The outcome of online fundraising campaigns has been less predictable than traditional offline tactics too.
- Two-thirds of our respondents indicated that in their view, Indian NGOs are “not very well equipped” to take advantage of the digital platforms to raise funds. Only one said that the sector is “very well equipped,” while the remainder rated it as “fairly well equipped”.
- When asked how well their own organisation is prepared, respondents were a little more optimistic. About half said, “fairly well equipped.” The rest said they were “not very well equipped.”
- Despite these challenges, our respondents predict that 20 percent of all giving in India will occur online within two years (up from 10 percent today) and 50 percent within 10 years.
We invite you to download the complete report for more on what we learned.
Equally valuable, the report includes 10 broad principles for NGOs to raise their online fundraising game. They reflect a number of best practices and, if implemented well, will fuel your organisation’s success at online fundraising.
To your success online!