1 in 10 VMG - blog

With the imminent closure of Virgin Money Giving (VMG) understandably a major talking point for the sector over the last two months, we wanted to understand how much of the public understood that VMG was leaving the market. We incorporated questions about this into our most recent Donor Pulse quarterly research.

Public knowledge of VMG

VMG is due to close its doors at the end of November. Whilst two thirds of people have heard of the brand, at the time of the study, only 1 in 10 (11%) members of the public knew that it was closing. A remarkably small figure. 

Figure 1: Public awareness of VMG closing

Those most likely to know the platform is closing are Gen Z, and then it declines through age groups from there. This is something for charities with a largely older supporter base to keep in mind. Although there has been considerable noise in the sector about the closure, this data shows that many have not heard about it yet. It’s important charities don’t assume prior knowledge, as while it’s our job as third sector professionals to be up-to-date with the latest news, it is not the same for supporters. 

Charities need to help their donors understand the closure and what they want those supporters to do in response to it. Making a change in platform as clear and straightforward as possible is an important part of the process.

Figure 2: Breakdown of awareness of VMG closure by age

Regular donors

Communication is a particularly important point when considering regular donations. Although the majority of regular donors (72%) give directly through a charity’s website, 1 in 12 (8%) give through Virgin Money Giving. Within this group, around three quarters know that the platform is closing but that still leaves a quarter unaware. For those that were aware, 1 in 5 stated they would stop their donations when the platform closes. And this is only for regular donors, not one off donors and fundraisers, so there is a crucial job to be done by charities to help supporters understand the closure, and encourage them to keep giving.

Next steps for charities

Charities utilising Virgin Money Giving need to build a transition plan for their supporters using it, as well as adopting a platform that can help them easily transition regular donors and fundraisers. The research shows that the VMG news has not travelled much beyond the third sector, so an education piece will be necessary. 

For charities looking at making the switch from Virgin Money Giving, we provide 5 top tips on how to choose the perfect digital fundraising partner in this blog

And for those who are keen to learn more about the findings from our Donor Pulse Autumn research, you can download your copy here.