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Accepting Online Donations: 4 Things to Know

Posted by Tiffany Taylor and Alison Arthur on 06 Jun 2022

Americans donated a record $471.4 billion to charities in 2020—and $3.2 billion of that came from online donations, representing 13 percent of total giving—up 20.7 percent from the previous year and the largest percentage of online giving ever. And, it’s estimated that 28 percent of all digital donations were made using a mobile device in 2021. It makes sense that as smartphone use continues to climb, the popularity and convenience of online giving platforms like GoFundMe® will continue to drive an increase in mobile donations. 

While the bulk of these donations is still made in non-digital environments, these numbers show that online capabilities are imperative to support the changing expectations of donors. And accepting online donations doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, it can be a natural extension of solutions that organizations already have in place. Here are four things to know about accepting online donations.  

  1. Donors want the option to make donations using credit cards and debit cards, including via Apple Pay and Google Pay

As demand for online and mobile gift-giving increases, it’s only natural that demand for charitable donations using credit cards will also increase. Supporting a wide array of online payment methods gives donors more choice and flexibility when making donations, increasing the likelihood that they’ll contribute. In addition, an online donation solution can also record in-person gifts made by cash and personal checks, giving an organization a top-down view of contributions across all payment methods.

  1. One-time givers can be transformed into ongoing sustainers, increasing donor lifetime value

One-time contributions are valuable in their own right but turning one-time gifts into sustained income can create a long-lasting positive impact for years to come. An online donation solution should support both scenarios, allowing donors to make quick and easy one-time payments or establish an ongoing series of recurring payments.

  1. Online donation experiences should translate seamlessly to mobile devices

As mentioned above, mobile devices are a rising force in online donations. It’s important that online donation experiences translate seamlessly to mobile devices by using a solution that’s built with responsive web design (RWD). In addition, a progressive web app format provides the convenience of an app UI experience on mobile devices using browser technology. This is significant as it’s possible to provide a better experience without having to download an app. 

  1. Accepting online donations can be integrated into an existing solution

Payment aggregators might seem like the quickest and easiest way to begin accepting online donations. However, leveraging these solutions often requires a separate login from donors that removes them from an organization’s branded experience. As a result, donors may find the user experience disjointed and frustrating, creating extra obstacles to completing their online donations.

Accepting online donations may be easily accessible through a solution that’s already in place. For example, an electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) solution may also support online donation acceptance. This means that online donations can be supported without hassle, allowing an organization to begin accepting charitable contributions quickly and easily, without having to implement, manage and support a new solution.

For organizations that rely on donations for operating, increased demand for online donations cannot be ignored. Delivering an online payment experience to donors that’s quick and seamless can help lower barriers to giving, benefitting all parties involved.  

Find out more about EBPP in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to EBPP

Updated from a blog originally published October 31, 2018.


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Tiffany Taylor Blog Contributor Tiffany Taylor is a technology marketing professional with broad expertise in a number of marketing disciplines and financial technology expertise including payments, retail and digital banking, core processing, and lending. As the owner of Tiffany Taylor Marketing, Tiffany brings a well-rounded perspective to FinTech marketing and creative content development.
Alison Arthur Product and Content Marketing Manager Alison creates timely product marketing and thought leadership content that keeps Alacriti's community informed on the latest developments in billing and payments technology. With a background in payments and financial services, Alison specializes in composing content related to technology, security, compliance, and overall industry trends.

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