WWF, one of the world’s largest conservation organisations, is teaming up with Scope, which supports disabled people and their families, to address their shared giving challenges.
WWF and Scope are working together to tackle two key giving challenges. First, they want to improve the recruitment and retention of individual supporters. Like many charities, both have a large number of ‘lapsed’ direct debit supporters, who they want to re-engage with.
However, they also want to address the reasons behind the stagnation in charitable donations. As well as finding new approaches that make giving easier, they recognise the need to find innovative ways to strengthen the culture of giving at a systemic level.
They believe that important answers to both questions lie in understanding the psychology of giving – and crucially, what motivates people to give on a regular and sustained basis.
WWF and Scope are looking to apply social psychology insights to an emerging area of fundraising – mobile regular giving.
While mobile giving has grown rapidly in the last two years, it has predominantly focused on one-off donations. WWF and Scope are looking to offer more flexible, regular text giving, where donors can ‘opt-out’ in a given month if funds are low.
The two charities are working with several other partners, including Open Fundraising, the mobile giving agency providing the technology platform, and University of Essex and University of Cardiff Psychology Departments, whose professors will develop several fundraising propositions for each charity to test.
The propositions will be trialled under test conditions, with results measured in terms of initial response (proportion of people becoming regular mobile donors) and subsequent behaviour – including, crucially, motivation for WWF supporters to donate to Scope, and vice-versa.
Following the trial, a toolkit will be published to help charity fundraisers integrate an understanding of motivational psychology into their strategies and communications – with the aim of transforming fundraising approaches across the charity sector.
WWF and Scope have been awarded a total of £222,000 to cover the development of mobile giving products, research support, telephone calling costs and dissemination costs. Each charity is contributing funding to the project.