Photo by FlyD on Unsplash

Written by Alex Aggidis

In 2024 the UK will overhaul its data protection laws. There are many changes (one could actually help you raise more money in the future!).

Firstly, a quick recap:

With the enactment of the Withdrawal Agreement in January 2020, the UK signalled its exit from the EU and entry into a transition period.

During this transition period, all EU laws would continue to apply. The GDPR was no exception. At the end of the transition period in December 2020, only the UK GDPR remained.

What’s changed?

  • Post-Brexit, our GDPR is now called the UK GDPR, and works alongside the Data Protection Act 2018.
  • The EU has approved data transfers to and from the UK until at least 2025.
  • There are some UK-specific tweaks to stay compliant with.

What does this mean for fundraisers?

  • Compliance: We need to update our policies and paperwork to meet UK GDPR standards.
  • Data transfers: Ensure processes with EU partners comply with the new rules.
  • Consent and records: Keeping clear records of consent and data processing will be more crucial than ever.

Upcoming changes for fundraisers:

  • Increased scrutiny on how we obtain and record consent.
  • Stricter enforcement of data protection laws.
  • Focus on collecting only necessary data.
  • Third-party contracts and ensuring third-party providers comply with UK GDPR.

Feeling nervous about the upcoming changes? Us too.

That’s why we’ve invited data protection expert, Mark Burnett, CEO of Hope & May to host a free webinar on this very topic next month.

🗓️ Thursday 27th June 
⌚ 12 – 1 pm BST

👆 You can register to attend here

Mark will examine some of the changes and share some early interpretations to help you start thinking about and planning for the future.

The webinar will include a live Q&A for your burning questions.

Voice Your Thoughts 🗣️

Our platform is open to anyone and everyone in the sector that has an opinion, idea, or resource they would like to share to help make our sector better. If you would like write and share something, pop an email over to [email protected] and we will support you every step of the way to share your voice.
Computer screen text that reads HTTP COOKIES

Guest blog post by Henry Astley, Digital Strategy Director at Open

Fundraising in the post cookie world

Third party cookies have been used in fundraising for as long as charities have been running digital campaigns. They track individuals by leaving a tag on a web browser. This way someone can be identified in one place (an ad), remembered and then observed taking an action in another place (leaving a donation on a website).

Cookies can measure this over long periods of time, if one person uses multiple devices and even if they view things but don’t click them. Cookies have been used to build retargeting audiences and power modelling for targeting new audiences. They’ve had lots of uses. And they’re about to disappear. 

This is a good thing. The move toward a privacy and transparency-centric web is behind this. It began with regulation in 2018, was followed by moves from tech companies like Apple’s iOS14.5 update and it’s looking like it will end with Google Chrome discontinuing cookies next year.

They are going – but what does this mean for charities? Well, some change and short term pain, but longer term opportunities for ethical and sustainable fundraising.

So what do you need to do to prepare?

Get ready for GA4

Google Analytics uses cookies. Google Analytics 4 has been built as a solution, which uses a combination of first party cookies in conjunction with AI which fills in gaps in the data. 

Google has provided all users of the old GA with GA4 accounts, and now is the time to check all is working ok. Old accounts won’t receive data at the end of June, so it’s important to see if your new account can report on the same information the old one did. You might need a developer or a Google Tag Manager user if you have a complicated setup. You should also download the data from your old GA, as that won’t move across.

New social tracking

Social media companies offer cookieless solutions for measurement and optimisations of ad campaigns. This has previously been done by pixels – code which uses third party identifiers like cookies. The major social networks now offer conversion APIs to do something similar, which use server to server connections rather than cookies. These will need setup work.

First party focus

First party data collected with appropriate consent will be a legitimate way to target individuals in the future and nurturing these databases will be a hugely important digital strategy for the cookieless future. First party data might include email address, phone number or postal address, all of which can be used online to target. As GA4 data is first party it can be used to segment digital audiences too.

Understanding the implications of the change 

We’ll need to accept that even with the best preparation things won’t be the same in the post-cookie world. The biggest change will be to the measurement of digital advertising campaigns. Fewer conversions will be counted by tracking tools, and the ad algorithms will receive fewer conversion signals, which may in turn lead to poorer optimisation. 

This will affect some channels more than others. Display relies a lot on cookies to track response as those ads aren’t very clicky, and often a conversion happens a long time after ad interaction. You may find that very few conversions are counted from display in the future, but other channels like PPC which are much more click based are still counted.

It will affect some campaigns more than others, too. Getting someone to sign up to a marathon involves a long decision making process which might take the runner 2 weeks to decide on. This will be harder to track than something like a petition sign ask, which can be responded to quickly.

It’s important to understand that not tracking a result may not mean a campaign isn’t performing. To analyse performance you might look at other metrics like viewability, clicks and quality of site traffic. We may even see more offline styles of measurement being reapplied online, like sending traffic to different pages, offer codes or A/B testing of locations. The offline world hasn’t ever used cookies but it gets by. 

Some methods of targeting will need to change, but not all of them. Remarketing won’t be possible in the same way in the future, as this has relied on third party cookies to build audiences. In terms of prospecting, programmatic display uses cookies to build audiences. In the post-cookie world we might see a rise in display using contextual targeting methods, like placing a challenge event ad in a sports article.

Social ad platforms will have less targeting data if it has been collected from the pixel outside of the social apps, but any interest data collected from people using apps like Instagram is considered first party to Meta and will still be available for use. This means that the tech giants like Meta and Google will continue to be leaders in personalised targeting.

Innovation and Integration

Strategies need to be future proof. It’s going to be harder to measure the responses from a big ask on a digital ad in the future. This might give the sector the opportunity to question whether this strategy was good in the first place. Should the majority of cold communications involve asking for money, a legacy or other large commitments? There is evidence to show this is damaging to charity brands in the long term.

Focusing on what can be measured effectively – for instance lower commitment actions like email subscriptions, campaigning actions and pledges will be both possible in the future and a better entry point into the supporter journey.

There will be other untapped engagement opportunities in digital and innovation here will be crucial. There will be value wherever we capture first party data for conversion at a later stage. This means that integration between charity silos will become more important than ever. It may not be people’s first interaction with us that drives the value – but gathering that first party data will be essential for growth.

There should be more emphasis on the quality of creative, consistency of message and supporter journey to ensure longer lasting and ethical relationships with donors in the post-cookie world.

For more great technology insight in the sector, check out our FundraisingTech 2023 Conference.

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

Written by Simon Scriver, Co-Founder of Fundraising Everywhere

The Burning Platforms

With both Facebook and Twitter finding themselves in precarious situations, we’ve all been reminded of the risk of relying on any social media platform to connect with your audience. It’s important that part of our ongoing communications strategy is to encourage followers to also connect and subscribe through other traditional channels such as email and telephone.

It’s not just about the risk of some tech bros destroying a platform you’ve grown to rely on. It’s also about controlling your own data and not leaving your brand’s visibility at the mercy of an algorithm you have no say in - social media notoriously has terrible response rates compared to other media.

We need to be attempting to connect with our audience elsewhere in an ongoing effort to diversify our marketing channels, add people to your database, and collect the data you need to build up a full view of your donors to steward them properly.

Here are 7 ways to do this:

1. Offer a Free Download (Lead Magnet)

Downloadable resources such as fact sheets and helpful guides are a great way to bring value to your social media followers while capturing their contact details and consent. Think beyond your annual reports and consider what resources you have at your fingertips that will appeal to your audience.

Aim to help and educate. Infographics, cheat sheets, and ‘5 ways to…’ assets all do really well here.

With both Facebook and Twitter finding themselves in precarious situations, we’ve all been reminded of the risk of relying on any social media platform to connect with your audience.

2. Host a virtual event

Livestreams and pre-recorded video events allow you to engage supporters and bring them in to your organisation in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. Bring them behind-the-scenes, let them hear from beneficiaries and connect directly to your staff. Plus, they offer lots of touchpoints (ie. registration; before, during and after the event) to prompt your attendees to stay in touch through email, telephone and post.

Talk to our friends at to find out how easy this can be and what support is available to you.

3. Surveys

Surveys aren’t just for learning about your audience and letting them know they have a say. They’re also super for moving people off of social media - people love sharing their opinions and a mailing list ‘ask’ fits nicely at the end of your survey questions.

They can be as simple as one quick question - it’s about getting your followers to take that step and allowing you to gather more details.

It’s not just about the risk of some tech bros destroying a platform you’ve grown to rely on. It’s also about controlling your own data and not leaving your brand’s visibility at the mercy of an algorithm

4. Contests

Like surveys…who doesn’t love a contest?

That gift-in-lieu you haven’t been able to use could make a great contest prize. (Don’t forget to check the rules and regulations in your country around the running of online contests).

It might even just be bragging rights…challenge your followers to get every quiz question right…and while they’re there, encourage them to subscribe.

5. Drive to a blog post with data capture

You and your organisation are experts in your field.

If you’re not already, you should be sharing that expertise in regular blog posts. They show your worth and position you as a useful resource.

Blog posts sharing ‘how to’, explainers, FAQs and news/updates are all great ways to get social media followers to click a link and visit your website.

There’s then a great opportunity to suggest your email mailing list within your blog, at the end or through pop-ups.

6. Direct asks

Like all things in fundraising and marketing sometimes it’s as simple as just asking.

Share a direct link to a form to joining your mailing list regularly and give your followers a reason to join.

Make it sound appealing! Rather than joining a mailing list, share the benefits - such as early access, useful information, exclusive perks and a connection to community.

7. Hand raisers

Discover what people care about by running ‘hand raiser’ campaigns; ask them what they care about, what changes they want to see in the world, or run fun polls.

Not only will your list grow from this light-touch and fun interaction, the answers they give help you build a picture of their motivations for that all-important stewardship work.

Check out my full session On Demand:

A Step-by-Step Guide To Growing Your Mailing List

Use discount code ‘ELONMUSK’ to download it for free.

Written by Leesa Harwood, Owner of By The Waves Charity Consulting.

Too much of a good thing

Data is great.  It underpins good decision-making.  It helps fundraisers to understand supporters, articulate impact, measure success and prioritise the deployment of finite resources.  But you can have too much of a good thing.  Today we have access to lots of data, but nowhere near enough insight.  Alexander Chancellor, former editor of The Spectator said:

“Excessive information creates its own form of blindness to what is actually going on.”

Now, charity professionals are faced with so much data, that they simply can’t see the wood for the trees.  They are data blind.

Good, Bad & Ugly

With so much data available, sorting the good from the bad can be challenging.  This summer I sifted through over 85 data sources, reports, and documents to compile After the Storm, a summary of key, socio-economic trends and their implications for charity leaders.  I am not a data scientist.  My background is charity leadership and fundraising, so it was hard going.  The more reports I read, the more I realised that data and research can be divided into three categories:

“Excessive information creates its own form of blindness to what is actually going on.”

Alexander Chancellor, former editor of The Spectator


Good data goes beyond a presentation of facts and figures.  It evolves into information and then insight.  In starts with a fact, then answers the question ‘so what?’ then articulates a clear implication.  Good data is based on viable samples, objectivity, and curiosity.  It closes the loop between asking a question, analysing facts to find an answer, then adding a big dose of common sense and context to draw a conclusion.  It doesn’t just provide information, it delivers enlightenment.  Researchers produce good data with one eye on the audience and the problem they’re trying to solve. They adapt their language to present their findings in a relevant and engaging way for their target audience.  They know where they can add value and they set out to do so from the start. 


Bad data is everywhere.  Vast quantities of facts, figures, graphs, and charts couched in impenetrable language that makes your eyes spin and your ears bleed.  Bad data is not necessarily incorrect or corrupt data.  It’s just not useful. It is often compiled and presented by incredibly clever people who know their subject matter but not their audience. You have to work hard to optimise bad data.  Finding it, translating it, processing it, then applying it to your world or problem.  Usually, the ‘so what?’ answer is buried in so much jargon that you give up and go home. 


This is the worst data of all because can be misleading and fake.  It falls into three categories:

1. Clickbait

A headline loosely linked to some random statistics picked from a survey using questionable methodology.  Great at grabbing headlines, a data capture tool and a way of inflating click-through statistics.

2. Tiny sample

Survey results with tiny sample sizes are useless.  There are over 160,000 registered charities in England and Wales, and yet some high profile, sector bodies persist in presenting conclusive trend data based on samples of less than 50 charities.  This is literally not big, and not clever.

3. Pre-determined answer

Usually companies or suppliers commission research or surveys with a specific result in mind.  Usually that result nudges you to buy their product.  It’s unfair to suggest that all supplier-commissioned research falls into this category.  But if a business produces a survey that aligns with its marketing content, it’s always sensible to cross check with an alternative data source just in case.

Data is fickle.  With enough manipulation, the right lens and selective bias you can make data say pretty much anything. 

Torture the data and it will confess to anything

Data is fickle.  With enough manipulation, the right lens and selective bias you can make data say pretty much anything.  But as fundraisers, we rely on it to keep us current, efficient and honest so it is important that we know where to go to find good data and how to use it properly.  By learning to recognise the good, the bad and the ugly fundraisers will always use the right data to answer the right questions at the right time.

Join me in the Strategy Track at Fundraising Everywhere's Virtual Individual Giving Conference on 27th October, to hear about my go-to good data sources, and a live chat about what today’s data is telling us about the next 12 months in fundraising.