BBC’s Children In Need campaign is one of the most successful global telethons fundraising for disadvantaged children in the UK and across the third world. Hosted mostly by Sir Terry Wogan since the original show in 1980 the amounts raised have continually risen. Sir Terry led the campaigns throughout most of Children In Need’s history and his passing 2016 was deeply mourned across the UK.
Sir Terry would have been impressed with the latest move from Children In Need to be bold with the text donations. Donating by text is not a new phenomenon, but in 2018 the text donation point was £30 and proved to be successful. Children In Need raised £12.9m from mobile donations out of a total of £50m. The total amount raised during 2018 is expected to be approximately £60m.
Are digital and mobile donations the ways forward for charitable fundraising? Probably. Children In Need are fortunate to have the might of the BBC behind them that afford the high profile to secure generous partners to this may not be the way forward for most charities. However, embracing the digital age in some shape or form is worth investigating.
Although any charity thinking on exploring digital forms of fundraising are wise to be cautious, do not over stretch your resources, set low realistic targets and avoid over enthusiasm. The digital world we live in has a lot to offer but we still need to play to our strengths and not get bamboozled by enthusiastic IT experts. Always do a feasibility study that is evidence based before making any radical changes.