In the past, charities used tactics like sending previous or potential donors amenities like address labels, holiday cards and friendly letters. However, as global internet usage rises above 2.9B people worldwide, charities are following suit.
Though some companies are less technologically savvy, ePhilanthropy is quickly becoming a trend. Websites like GoFundMe allow individuals to set up personalized charity accounts for people in need such as funeral expenses or education costs.
The shift in technology-driven giving is no surprise. Founder & President of The Healthy Non-Profit LLC, Erik Anderson predicted the rise in digital charity in his year-end blog post back in 2011. “I predicted we would see an increased focus by non-profit organizations in pursuing and securing charitable contributions by using online strategies and tactics resources,” Anderson writes.
In Anderson’s research in 2012, he found that digital giving increased significantly: people are more likely to donate at the end of the year, and non-profit executives believe that online giving is a smart transition to make giving easy and convenient.
Large trends in ePhilanthropy can be seen in large-scale non-profit organizations as well as small businesses. For example, instead of corporations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital urging viewers of print advertisements to call or send a letter to donate to the hospital, they instead direct their donations online.
“If you trust your eyes, you know that online giving is a trend and will go on to become a very important part of every fundraising professional’s toolbox… I did not say ePhilanthropy is the future. Nor did I say that ePhilanthropy is how we will [be] fundraising in the future. I deliberately used the words ‘a very important part,’” said Anderson.
Whether individuals choose to mail their gifts or fund charities online, digital fundraising is proving to be an innovative asset that benefits companies and donors by providing faster card-processing, instantaneous results and an online, hassle-free convenient way to donate.