The future of donations: Is cash history?

As an increasing number of transactions and donations go digital, will cash and paper checks be on their way out? If current statistics are any indication, the answer is most likely, yes. Advancements in technology continuously change the way we pay for goods and services as well as the method we give. Instead of counting out a wad of bills or swiping a credit card with a magnetic stripe, you can simply pay with an app on your smartphone.

Adapting to the future
Just as for-profits adapt to take all forms of payments, nonprofits must do the same with their online fundraising tools if they want to encourage donors to give more. Accepting multiple types of payments is key. Organizations must give donors convenient ways to give instead of solely relying on putting a check in the mail. The nonprofit market continues to grow with Americans donating $45 billion with the majority of that money - 62 percent - coming from credit and debit cards. Only 26 percent of those gifts were made in cash while four percent of the gifts emanated from mobile wallets such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay.

The growing number of cashless transactions is due to the convenience of online donating but also because of a change in demographics. Sixty-four percent of Americans now own a smartphone and they continue to embrace mobile technology by purchasing the latest model of iPhone or a new tablet. In fact, the amount of people using mobile wallet applications continues to grow as more businesses accept this form of payment. Recent studies show 31 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to pay for goods and services due to their convenience. Therefore, smart nonprofits need to embrace this cashless future to stay in the game. 

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