How Google’s cookieless internet will impact charities

Plus: Top five ways the charity sector can navigate the shift effectively

The transition to a cookieless internet is expected to have several significant impacts on the charity sector, similar to its effects across various industries. Here’s how the absence of third-party cookies might influence charities and their digital strategies:

1. Data Collection and Privacy

Increased Privacy for Users: The move away from third-party cookies is primarily driven by increasing concerns over user privacy. For charities, this means adapting to new ways of collecting data that respect user privacy while still gaining insights into donor behaviour.

Reliance on First-Party Data: Charities will need to focus more on collecting first-party data directly from their audiences. This includes data from website interactions, email engagements, and donations made directly to the charity. While this offers a more privacy-compliant way of understanding supporters, it may limit the breadth of data available compared to third-party cookies.

2. Targeted Advertising and Outreach

Challenges in Personalization: The absence of third-party cookies could make it more difficult for charities to deliver personalized advertising and outreach efforts. Charities have traditionally used these cookies to understand user interests and behaviour across the web, tailoring their messaging accordingly.

Increased Importance of Content Marketing: To attract and retain supporters, charities may need to invest more in content marketing, SEO, and social media engagement. These channels allow for organic growth and engagement without relying on third-party cookies.

3. Fundraising and Donor Engagement

Impact on Online Fundraising: Targeted advertising has been a cost-effective way for charities to reach potential donors. Without third-party cookies, charities might find it more challenging to reach new donors or re-engage lapsed ones, potentially impacting online fundraising efforts.

Need for Innovative Engagement Strategies: Charities will need to explore new strategies for engaging their audiences. This might include leveraging technology like AI to analyse first-party data for insights or adopting new engagement platforms that offer privacy-compliant ways to connect with potential supporters.

4. Compliance and Reputation

Adherence to Privacy Regulations: As the digital landscape evolves, so too do regulations around data privacy (e.g., GDPR, CCPA). Charities must ensure their data collection and processing practices comply with these regulations, which is easier with first-party data.

Trust and Transparency: By respecting user privacy and transparently communicating how they collect and use data, charities can build trust with their supporters. This trust is crucial for maintaining and growing a supporter base in a cookieless world.

5. Technology and Infrastructure

Investment in Technology: To adapt, charities may need to invest in new technologies and platforms that facilitate the collection and analysis of first-party data, as well as in tools that support privacy-compliant advertising techniques like contextual advertising.

Skills and Knowledge: The shift away from third-party cookies also implies a need for upskilling and training within the charity sector. Understanding new digital marketing strategies, data privacy laws, and analytics will be crucial for those managing fundraising and outreach efforts.

Cookieless Opportunities

While the move to a cookieless internet presents challenges, it also offers an opportunity for the charity sector to innovate and find new ways to engage supporters that are both effective and respect user privacy.

By leveraging technology and pivoting their marketing strategy charities can navigate this transition successfully.

By Team Ardent

Ardent is one of the fastest growing boutique full-service agencies in Australia and one of the best places to work in Sydney. Each and every day we challenge ourselves and our clients for more, we deliver and are measured by excellent results, and most importantly we evolve ourselves and our partners.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.