Do charities need to advertise?
Advertising for charities is a sensitive area, since advertising is funded by money donated to the cause. Donors are frustrated to learn that the money is not going to the cause, but to private advertising companies. However, without publicity exposure, the charity would not receive the donations and would not be able to function, so publicity is necessary for any charity.
Another reason is that there is high competition in the charity industry, with over 200,000 registered charities in the UK all competing (during a difficult economic environment) for donations.
Who are the charities for?
Most charities are happy to accept donations of any kind of life, be it from philanthropists, businesses, street passers-by, schools, lottery contributions, etc.
Depending on the type of charity, some will specifically target certain types of donors (niche charities), while more commercial charities (such as RSPB or Oxfam) are not targeting their marketing.
Types of advertising available for charities
Depending on the funds, different charities will use different types of marketing to increase their exposure and cause (to encourage donations).
Television advertising is popular (certainly during the Christmas period) for some of the larger charities (as it is quite expensive) to create broad exposure for its cause and purpose.
Internet advertising is popular with all charities, both large and small. Most charities currently have websites and make use of paid advertising on search engines (either targeting the broader niche search terms).
Sponsorship advertising is becoming more popular with charities (sponsoring the London Marathon, for example, as McMillan did in 2010), as it creates great exposure and there are usually reduced fees.
Getting returns on advertising
It is essential that charities see a return on their advertising investment (not just the cost of fees for marketing agencies, but also the costs of materials, personnel costs, etc.) to justify the allocation of donations. Charities benefit from "gift aid" that allows them to claim the tax that would be paid to HMRC; However, even with this, they need to see returns and rewards from their advertising campaigns.
The problem is that advertising is largely based on how people respond to the ad (be it television, radio, sponsorship, etc.) and this is impossible to control and difficult to speculate. As the UK faces a difficult economic situation, advertising for charities is difficult and is a source of controversy.
Tips for charities
Charities play an important role in our society and need our support. Every family in the UK can afford to donate a pound to a local charity, this would mean that all charities would receive over £ 66 million a year just for a donated pound. However, getting this message across is the struggle facing every charity.