Here at Charity Chicks, we receive a lot of emails from various organisations. It might be because we support them, or we might be signing up to check out what they’re doing (and to steal their ideas!).
Whatever reason we sign up, there is a huge difference in the quality, the length, the interest, the salutation, the personalisation – the list is endless. And there lies a different blog post to this one.
But we wanted to take a step back. How easy is it to sign up to receive news via email for certain charities? Are big brand charities making it easy for us? Is it an indication of how they view digital communications?
So we undertook a very ad hoc piece of research (scientifically titled, ‘Think of charity, ask people around us for some more, and look at their homepage’), to see how many charities would let us sign up easily. We researched 50 charities.
And the results surprised us. In fact, some shocked us. If you go to the NSPCC homepage you can follow them on Twitter, sign up on Facebook. But you can’t sign up to receive news by email. Same for UNICEF, the British Heart Foundation, Breast Cancer Care, Scope and Shelter. Suprised? We were.
And then there were the charities where we couldn’t even sign up with social media, let alone e-news.
At Charity Chicks, we’re fundraisers. We know the importance of the donation. It’s what we push for constantly. But we also recognise the importance of engagement. You see, sometimes it really is about donor choice. Some people quite simply want to read about you and learn more before they donate.
And email is a great way to do this. So, please – make it easy. Make it obvious. Because if I can’t sign up instantly, I’m likely to go elsewhere. Average time on a web page is now 56 seconds. Are we really going to spend that valuable time searching for an elusive sign-up box? Somehow, I doubt it.
Here are the results of the research:
It makes for interesting reading. To steal the words of a blog we very much admire: all those in the middle column, give yourselves a raise!