Charities rely on assistance from donors to help them aid various causes throughout the world. Even the largest operations with numerous helping hands need support. People dedicated to a movement but unable to provide their time or skills can send money instead. Donating through traditional methods, however, is very cumbersome. Contributors can give money at fundraising events like banquets and auctions, but there will always be at least one person unable to attend. This individual could mail a check, but there’s still a risk the donation gets lost or stolen. Instead, charities wishing to accommodate all contributors should include an online option as one of many ways they receive money.

Internet giving on the rise
According to The Digital Giving Index created by Network for Good, the rate of online donations grew 9 percent in 2014. This number isn’t exceptionally high, but it’s still greater than that of donations overall, which was 3 percent. The organization found certain channels received more activity than others. Branded giving websites – that is, those matching a nonprofit’s public identity – raised 7 times more money than generic ones and received 51 percent of all online donations. These pages saw an average gift size of $152, whereas their basic counterparts received about $106 per donor. The latter also collected only 4 percent of Web-based donations. Meanwhile, peer-to-peer and crowd-sourced fundraising driven by social media acquired an average of $100 per donor and made up 23 percent of all online gifts.

Should nonprofits turn to the Web? 
Statistics aside, there are still several reasons why nonprofits should add online payment processing to their list of donation acceptance methods. First, it makes things simple for contributors. They don’t have to deal with finding bills at a fundraising event or sending a check through the mail. Donors simply provide their debit card information as though they were placing an order on Amazon.

Online donations are also more convenient than other methods. There’s no in-person presence required – contributors send their donations at any time from any location. What’s more, recurring donors don’t have to remember to submit their payment information each month if they so choose. Instead, an online processor sets up automatic payments to charge a person’s account on a consistent basis.

Wired Impact, a Web design company tailored to nonprofits, mentioned younger donors prefer to contribute online. Millennials are especially reliant on their smartphones, using them to surf the Web and check social media sites. If nonprofits can establish relationships with young contributors through commonly used channels, they can develop these individuals into lifelong contributors.

What nonprofits can do to increase online payments
As the Network for Good report indicated, a branded website is one of the best for charities to collect donations through the Internet. Nonprofits should establish a strong web presence and use a third-party payment processing solution to handle electronic transactions.

Participating in #GivingTuesday is also a great method of raising money online. The social media-based charity event was established in 2012 and promotes donations of time and money during the holiday season. In 2014, the average #GivingTuesday donation was $142, Network for Good reported. The event itself saw over twice the donations it had in 2013.

The more convenient nonprofits make their donation process, the more gifts they’ll receive and the more good they can do. Since the Internet is an essential part of modern daily life, there’s no better way to make giving easy than to accept online payments.

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