Personalised Gifts

Smart fundraising ideas – personalised gifts

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
January 17 2019,
June 11 2021

We’re all familiar with the saying “it’s better to give than receive”. But, as Christmas memories fade, and credit card bills hit the doormat, there’s way too much month left at the end of our money! Time to regret some of our more generous gestures? Those extravagant gifts, indulgent nights-out and reckless splurges? The close of the year is always expensive but, according to the annual Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) report, also when we’re at our most philanthropic.

Key findings

With a number of clients in the Third Sector, we like to keep up to speed and the CAF research always makes for interesting reading. 2018’s highlights some changes, but much remains the same:

  • November and December are peak for donations, with June the big month for sponsorship.

  • Total amount donated in 2017 went up to £10.3 bn, this from less people individually giving more.

  • Women are still more likely than men to participate in charitable and social activity.

  • 51% of respondents believe charities are trustworthy.

  • Despite innovation in charitable giving, cash remains king.

 how people give-jh-20190116

The digital impact

The public is still happy to drop money into a collecting tin, and the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal is probably the most prominent example of that. Online and digital though has impacted on the charitable sector just as it has in every other walk of life.

Some of the digital initiatives being adopted include clever ways of accepting payment, adoption of new tech, demonstrating social value, and tapping in to a donor’s appetite for personalisation.

  1. In May, the Mayor of London’s Office partnered with technology company iZettle to introduce a contactless payment scheme for buskers, giving performers card-readers enabling them to accept payments via contactless, wearable technology and chip and pin.
  1. January 2019’s edition of the “Big Issue” magazine, sold by its army of homeless street vendors, was brought to life with exclusive video and audio content, using the GenARate app Augmented Reality (AR). Not only hoping that the high-tech version would heighten interest and uplift sales, but that readers would engage and empathise more with the stories and content unlocked.
  1. A year after its launch, Facebook announced that its birthday fundraisers feature had earned over $300 million for some 750,000 non-profits over the past year.
  1. Spending on personalised gifts exceeds £1bn per annum in the UK and, with the average gift costing £36.50, charities are tapping into this market and including them in their ecommerce offerings. You can check out how we helped Macmillan to do just that - Make your fundraising personalised


So, while rattling a tin still works, fundraising is moving on a-pace. Keeping ahead of technology and ensuring that your charity is everywhere that your donors are is critical.

If you’d like some ideas – both high- and low-tech – we’ve got plenty of them (and plenty of experience) that we’d love to share.

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