Digital strategy | Top Tips

5 reasons why charities should invest in a digital budget

What is the importance of having a digital budget for charities and what this could mean for the content they create?

By Reason Digital · April 19, 2023

We all know the pain of budgeting, how we try our best to manage different costs, such as the costs to create content that our audiences will love, and proving to ourselves that we are in fact good with managing budgets. We can be just that! There is never just one singular budget, but a variety of different budgets that work towards an entire strategy. One of these is a digital budget and this will redefine ways in which your charity can utilise resources to propel your organisation towards your targeted goals.

1. Reach for the Stars!

Having a digital presence will allow your charity organisation to reach a wider audience, opening previously closed doors for you to connect with potential donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries. With a well-planned digital budget, you can use various online channels such as social media, email marketing, and search engines to target these specific audiences and spread an enticing message. This is because it is important to quickly consolidate brand awareness and ensure that your mission and goals are understood by interested parties who can quickly become brand advocates and help with organic growth. An online presence will help to propel this as well as help to establish your organisation as a leader when competition is rife.

2. Make life easier by being Efficient

A digital budget can also help your charity to streamline operations and reduce costs – it is an essential goal for charities to manage costs and seek a sizeable ROI to bolster their reputation and have the money to reinvest in future projects. For example, by using cloud-based software such as Xero and GoFundMe your charity can manage your finances, track your donations, and monitor your impact in real-time, without the need for expensive hardware or IT infrastructure. Being this efficient is essential for charities, not only for preserving resources and delivering on ethical goals but also for utilising a specific budget. Resources can become sparse within a charitable organisation, and it is important that the allocation of budgets is thoroughly discussed and strategised to ensure maximum efficiency to see the best benefits and rewards.

3. Don’t just create, innovate!

Investing in digital technology can help charities to innovate and find new ways of delivering their services. For example, charities can use virtual reality to create immersive experiences that help donors and supporters to understand the impact of their donations or use chatbots to provide instant support and advice to beneficiaries. Reason Digital has worked on many different projects where chatbots have become a necessity as part of clients’ deliverables. One good example of this is the ‘Is This OK?’ campaign we’ve worked on in collaboration with BBC Children in Need, Barnardo’s and Missing People. This project relied heavily on implementing a chatbot that fit the needs of the service users which meant a digital budget was crucial to it being successful. Our work with ITOK also illustrates the possibilities of securing funding through collaboration with agencies, trustees, donors and other charities for your digital content.

Digital budget and Content budget

4. The Data Doesn’t Lie!

A digital budget can help charities to collect and analyse data to make informed decisions about their operations. By using tools such as Google Analytics, you can track the performance of your charity’s website and social media channels and use this information to improve your online presence and engagement with your audience to stakeholders who are in charge of your budget.

5. Don’t just be effective, be Cost-effective

Digital marketing can be a very cost-effective way for your charity to promote a cause. This can be illustrated through different digital channels and many digital marketing channels will give your charity the ability to set your own budgets and only pay for results, such as clicks or conversions. This can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing channels, which may require a larger upfront investment and can be a riskier move when it comes to salvaging a good ROI.

Digital budget and Content budget

Budgeting for content:

The amount that your charity should budget for content depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your charity, the scope of your overall content plan, and the resources that are available to you. As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to allocate around 25-30% of your overall marketing budget to content creation marketing to help supplement a good content strategy that fits into your organisation’s set goals.

This budget should cover the costs of creating a wide range of content types such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, infographics, and email newsletters. It should also include the purchase of equipment, cost of hiring or outsourcing content creators such as writers, designers, videographers, and photographers as well as costs towards paid advertising on social media and Google. Some organisations may choose to hire in-house staff to handle content creation and distribution, while others may choose to work with external agencies or freelancers to help create high-quality content that resonates with their audience.

It’s important to note that the actual amount that your charity should budget for content will depend on your specific needs and goals. For example, if you are looking to launch a major fundraising campaign or expand your reach, then you may need to allocate a larger portion of your budget to content creation and distribution to create a successful campaign that meets the expectations and deliverables of the initial campaign goals. The key is to strike a balance between investing enough in content to achieve your goals, while also ensuring that you are making the most of the resources available to you.

It is generally a good idea for charities to allocate a significant portion of a digital budget towards content creation and distribution, as effective content can be a powerful way to engage potential supporters and donors, build awareness for the organisation’s mission and impact, and communicate the value of your work to the broader public. Either way, it’s important to invest in content that is well-researched, well-written, visually engaging, and aligned with the organisation’s mission and values.

Ultimately, the specific budget that your charity should allocate for content will depend on unique circumstances, but it’s generally a good idea to prioritise content creation as a key component of your overall marketing and communications strategy and this is why a digital budget can help your charity to reach growth milestones that exceed expectations.