Online Donations to Charities on the Rise, Report Finds

Online donations to charities increased by 23 percent from March through May compared to the same period in 2009, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

According to the Blackbaud Index of Online Giving (6 pages, PDF), a report from fundraising software-provider Blackbaud, organizations with total annual revenue of less than $1 million saw the biggest benefits from online donations, achieving 7.3 percent of their total fundraising online. The report, which reviewed activity for nearly eighteen hundred nonprofits of various sizes with combined annual online revenues of about $400 million, also found that organizations with annual revenues of $1 million to $10 million raised 7 percent of their gifts online while those with annual revenues exceeding $10 million generated about 5 percent.

Nick Allen, founder and chief strategy officer of Donordigital, attributed at least some of the rapid growth of online contributions to recent natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake. Allen, who contributed to the Blackbaud report, said most online givers are between 40 and 60 years old, compared with direct mail givers who are typically between 60 and 75 years old. "Those big disasters drive a lot of people to give online for the first time," Allen told the Post-Gazette, "and, if nobody steals their credit card and they have a good experience, there's less fear."

Joyce Gannon. "Study Shows Big Jump in Online Contributions for Nonprofit Groups." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 07/22/2010.