Charity digital fundraising terms and what they mean

There are so many different bits of lingo to get your head around in the charity world.

Add in fundraising and digital-specific terms, and you’ve got a recipe for confusion.

So we’ve put together this handy glossary of charity terms to help you get to grips with the lingo.

Fundraising tools and strategies  

  1. Fulfilment – Process of completing a donor’s request
  2. Stewardship – Looking after and cultivating donor relationships
  3. Donors vs. fundraisers – Difference between people who give and those who collect donations
  4. Proposition – Value or benefit offered to potential donors
  5. Annual reports – Yearly summary of organisation’s activities and finances
  6. Dollar handle – Amount suggested for donations
  7. Frequency – How often a communication or action happens

Financial and methods  

  1. Matched gift – Donations matched by a company or individual
  2. Restricted vs unrestricted funding – Funds earmarked for specific uses vs. flexible funds
  3. Individual giving (IG) – Donations from individual people
  4. Regular giver donor (RG donor) – Person who donates regularly
  5. Major donor – Someone giving large sums of money
  6. Cash ask – Requesting a direct cash donation
  7. RG (Regular Giving) – Donations made on a regular basis
  8. Lifetime value – Total donations expected from a donor over time
  9. Donor lifetime value (LTV) – See Lifetime value
  10. Loss leader – Product sold at a loss to attract customers
  11. Paperless direct debit (PDD) – Automated bank transfers without paperwork
  12. Gift aid – UK scheme increasing donation value through tax relief
  13. Raffles – Fundraising through ticket sales for prizes
  14. Shopping list item – Breakdown of how donations are spent
  15. Funding pot – Reserved funds for specific projects

Legacies and bequests  

  1. Gifts in wills – Donations left in someone’s will
  2. Legacies – See Gifts in wills
  3. Legacy giving – Process of leaving gifts in wills
  4. Bequests – See Gifts in wills
  5. In Mem – Donations in memory of someone

Campaign types  

  1. Smoke test – A small-scale campaign to test an idea
  2. Challenge events – Activities like marathons for fundraisin.
  3. Virtual challenge – Digital version of challenge events
  4. Community challenges – Localised events to engage communities
  5. Birthdays (campaign type) – Campaigns centred on birthdays for fundraising

Campaign planning and strategy  

  1. Theory of change – Plan outlining how actions lead to desired outcomes
  2. Mobilisation – Getting people to act or support a cause
  3. Angles – Specific messages or focuses for campaigns
  4. Supporter journey – Experience of a supporter from first interaction onwards

Lead generation and engagement  

  1. Activation – Encouraging a lead to take an action
  2. Handraiser – Someone showing interest in supporting
  3. Valex – Offering something in return for contact detail
  4. Appeal – Call to the public to donate or help
  5. Community fundraising – Raising funds within a community
  6. Direct mail – Sending fundraising letters to people’s homes
  7. Peer-to-peer – Fundraising through personal networks
  8. Call to action (CTA) – Prompt encouraging an immediate response
  9. Sponsorship – Financial support in exchange for brand exposure
  10. DRTV – TV ads prompting immediate donations
  11. Engagement tool – Methods or platforms to interact with supporters

Metrics and evaluation

  1. Response rate – Percentage of people who respond to a campaign
  2. Churn rate – Percentage of supporters who stop supporting
  3. Contact rate – Percentage of successfully reached contacts
  4. Attrition rate – Rate at which supporters drop off
  5. Retention rate – Percentage of supporters who continue supporting
  6. Donor retention – Maintaining ongoing donor support
  7. Donor acquisition – Getting new donors
  8. Hurdle rate – Minimum rate of return for an investment

Services and tools

  1. Farewill – Free will-writing service
  2. Free wills network – Group offering will-writing support
  3. Multi-channel marketing – Engaging audiences across various platforms
  4. SERP – Search Engine Results Page – List of web pages returned by a search engine
  5. Product – Item sold to raise funds

Team and stakeholders  

  1. Senior leadership team – Top decision-makers in an organisation
  2. People with [health condition] – Respectful way to mention beneficiaries with specific conditions

Community and engagement  

  1. Community fundraiser – Person coordinating local fundraising activities
  2. Volunteerism – Act of offering services for free
  3. Community fundraising – Fundraising activities in a community

Photo by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash

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