Online gift-giving increasing for nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly utilizing online payment solutions, and their efforts seem to be paying off. A slew of recent surveys shows that gift-giving on the Internet is on the rise and more people are willing to donate to their favorite charities on the Web. Donating money to charity is not easy given recent economic times, but providing supporters the opportunity to do so online may make all the difference.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy conducted a survey of 149 nonprofits and found donations increased 14 percent to $785 million for the nation's biggest organizations. This is a significant increase and such gifts will hopefully continue to grow. Organizations that accept donations online may see a higher jump in this year's monetary gifts because forms on the Internet opens up yet another realm for those willing to give.

The Chronicle also stated that many organizations are turning to data analytics to better understand how their donor base interacts with their website and what users want from the nonprofit's online presence. This helps pinpoint what is most important when developing a website, creating an online donation form and constructing the payment process. If transactions take a long time, people will be less willing to continue the procedure or repeat it in the future. If organizations are able to see where prospects are abandoning the payment part of the process, they can address it and change it appropriately.

Trends from the survey pointed out that international services didn't increase online support as much as others, but this may be because they had fewer repeat online donors. For instance, many of the international programs were aimed at disaster relief and while these causes are just as important as others, they have somewhat of a time limit. One way nonprofits increased online gifts was by encouraging people to participate in continual giving programs and give the organization money monthly, quarterly, yearly or based on another time period.

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