Accepting Online Donations: 4 Things to Know

Posted by Alison Arthur on 31 Oct 2018

Charitable donations made by Americans add up to staggering numbers. In 2017, Americans pledged $410 billion to charities, which represented a 5% increase over 2016’s level of giving. While online donations only accounted for a relatively low 7.6 percent of total fundraising revenue in 2017, digital giving’s importance continues to grow. Online donations have recorded consistent growth year over year, reaching approximately 12 percent in 2017. And mobile transactions are a force in their own right, with 21 percent of 2017’s online donations made using mobile devices.

While the bulk of these donations are 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

According to Nonprofits Source, 54% of givers around the world would prefer to make online donations using a credit card or debit card. 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 into contributions across all payment methods.

2. 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.

3. 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).

4. An online donation capability can be a natural extension of 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 this 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 payments (EBPP) solution may also support online donation acceptance as an extension of its features. This means that online donations can be supported without hassle, allowing an organization to begin accepting charitable contributions quickly and easily.

The Bottom Line: The sheer size and volume of online donations makes them a force too big to ignore. Delivering an online payment experience to donors that’s quick and seamless can help lower barriers to giving, benefitting all parties involved.

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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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