Advertising For Charities asc

Do Charities Need To Advertise?

Advertising for charities is a sensitive area, as the advertising is funded by the money that is donated to the cause. Donors get frustrated knowing that the money is not going to the cause, but going to private advertising companies. However, without advertising exposure, the charity would not get the donations and would not be able to function, so advertising is necessary to any charity.

Another reason is that there is a high competition in the charity industry, with over 200,000 registered charities in the UK, they are all competing (during a difficult economic environment) for donations.

Who Do Charities Target?

Most charities are happy to accept donations from any walk of life, whether this be from philanthropists, businesses, passersby in the street, schools, lottery contributions etc.

Depending on the kind of charity, some will specifically target certain kinds of donors (niche charities) whereas the more commercial ‘brand’ charities (such as RSPB or Oxfam) do not target their marketing.

Kinds Of Advertising Available To Charities

Depending on funds, different charities will use different types of marketing in order to boost their exposure and cause (to encourage donations).

TV advertising is popular (certainly around the Christmas period) for some of the larger charities (as it is quite expensive) to create a broad exposure of their cause and goal.

Internet advertising is popular with all charities both large and small most charities these days have websites and make use of paid advertising on search engines (either targeting niche search terms of broad ones).

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 normally there are reduced fees.

Getting Returns On Advertising

It is essential for charities to see a return on their investment for advertising (not just the cost of the fees to marketing agencies, but material costs, staff costs etc.) in order to justify the allocation of donations. Charities do benefit from ‘gift aid’ which allows them to reclaim the tax that would be paid to HMRC; however even with this they do need to see returns and fruit from their advertising campaigns.

The problem is that advertising is very much based on how people respond to the advert (whether it is TV, radio, sponsorship etc.) and this is impossible to control and hard to speculate. As the UK is facing a difficult economic situation, advertising for charities is difficult and is a source of controversy.

Suggestions For Charities

Charities play an important roll in our society and do 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 from one pound donated. However getting this message across is the struggle each charity faces.

By charities talking to local councils, they should be able to get additional support regards local marketing.

Most advertising companies are happy to help local charities by offering reduced advertising prices or contradeals; however it is worth shopping around to find an advertising agency that has experience in doing marketing for charities (as the marketing should be more focused and productive) to ensure the advertising is effective.