Audio content, voice technology and AI can play a vital role in driving forward the strategic goals of their organisations.
The last two years have presented challenges for almost every individual and business across the UK and the charity sector has been no exception.
Neighbourly’s Community Insights Survey has been tracking the demand on small charities & community causes throughout the pandemic. Organisations including food banks, homelessness groups, elderly care organisations and domestic abuse charities have taken part in the research.
Their most recent survey revealed that 62% of these organisations have seen demand for their services rise over the past three months and it is now at a higher level than at any other time during the pandemic. The temporary £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit and the Government’s Furlough scheme are both set to end this month and it is predicted that this could generate a 33% uplift in demand on services in the next 3 months.
This situation is not unique to small charities. Bigger organisations have also struggled to maintain service levels with staff and volunteers restricted to home.
The Community Life Survey, published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport found that in 2020/2021 there was a 16% decrease in the proportion of people giving to charity and this level was at its lowest since the survey began in 2013.
With 13% strongly agreeing that they may struggle financially in the coming year and 25% of UK adults reviewing their ‘non-essential’ outgoings according to the ‘About Loyalty’ tracker the general public’s financial ability to support charities may be significantly reduced.
At a time when resources are likely to be most stretched technology and developments like Artificial Intelligence and efficient CRM systems can play a pivotal role in efficiently engaging with current and new stakeholders playing a role in both service provision and fundraising initiatives.
Charities have pivoted over the last 18 months to transform key fundraising physical events into virtual challenges and encourage online donation to protect as much income as possible.
John Tasker, Partner at Agency Massive, estimates for big events like walks or runs this will have generated approximately 40% of the revenue of the physical events. This quick thinking and innovation, using technology, audio and digital spaces creatively, has helped protect the valuable role charities play in society.
A Public Sentiment tracker conducted by ‘About Loyalty’ revealed that trust in charities has continued to increase throughout the pandemic (+40.9%) which sits in a sharp contrast to trust in government, a score of -9%.
The Value of Small in a Big Crisis Report from Lloyds Bank Foundation has stated that small charities, “showed up and stuck around” despite their own challenges to support their local communities and use their trusted relationships to deliver support where it was most needed. Some great recent examples of this kind of innovation include:
The launch of a smart speaker skill for Alderhey Children’s Charity using voice registration to receive a legacy donation pack
Podcasts to support mental health – according to Spotify 72% of millennials in the UK see audio as a mental health resource
The recent CRUK October Dog Walk Challenge and other virtual events.
There is no doubt charities will continue to innovate to deliver vital services to their clients across 2021/2022 in what are sure to be challenging times. There has been a huge shift to digital and virtual activity which has undoubtedly been expedited recently and will continue to grow.
There is now an opportunity to harness this innovation and digitalisation in a strategic way. Developing an ecosystem which can use content, voice technology and AI alongside other digital assets to drive forward the strategic goals of the organisation.
This strategy would, amongst other things, increase supporter engagement and recruitment, drive revenue, mobilise volunteers and provide 24/7 support to service users.
This kind of system, which works across multiple aspects of the needs of the charity, can lower organisational costs and free up resource for those aspects of care and growth that cannot be automated.
Voiceworks are voice technology and audio content specialists, we’d love to talk to you about how we can help your organisation meet the challenges of the coming months. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.