This Makes It Easier To Give
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) When Billy Lerner and his co-director Alexson Roy realized that children in developing locations, such as Haiti, Ghana and Brazil, are exposed to potentially fatal parasitic and bacterial diseases because the soles of their feet are not appropriately covered, they launched Billy4Kids, a charitable association that collects worn shoes with boxes placed strategically around cities where people can drop off their gently used sneakers. As a result, children in need are now being gifted with much needed foot apparel.
The charitable association has made it easier for supporters to donate through their website, Paypal, Facebook and even cellphones.
"Almost all of our donations are made on the internet," Lerner told MainStreet. "People are coordinating their entire lives online and need to be able to organize their finances there and that includes charitable donations online."
While charitable giving increased 12.5% in 2013, charitable donations through Paypal reached $633.8 million. That's a 34% rise from 2012, according to a new study.
"Across all of ecommerce, there's a continued trend toward digital payments," said PayPal Director of Nonprofit Engagement Clam Lorenz. "Consumers expect to be able to pay for things online, which influences how consumers choose to donate as well."
Overall industry trends strongly favor mobile payments over the long run, especially for donations.
PayPal's year end charitable giving data found that mobile giving was responsible for $63.1 million in 2013.
"It is much easier to enter the phone number and PIN for your PayPal account into a mini keyboard on a mobile device than it is to type in a card number, security code, mailing address, your name and other data," Lorenz said. "Paypal's ease of use has made us a very popular option for mobile payments and donations."
It's no surprise that online and mobile giving is on the rise and in demand with technological advancements surfacing almost daily but not all non profit organizations are up to speed like Billy4Kids. More than half of all donations are still made via checks in the mail and less than 10% is donated digitally, according to Paypal.
"If non-profits do not make their operations more digitally-focused, personalize their charitable requests and campaign content to reach millennials, Gen X or Baby Boomers the way that they want to be reached, the nonprofits will be left behind very quickly because although supporters may like a non profit on Facebook, they are not following through with any relevant action or donation without the digital means," said Christine Schaefer, vice president of community and marketing with Salsa.
Online options to donate make it quick and easy for both the contributor and the charity.
"The contributor can see the funds leaving their account immediately and then get an email from us confirming that their donation has been safely received," Lerner said. "For us, online donations are easy to track and it also makes it easy to build a database of contributors that can be kept up to date with how their donation has helped."