According to the Blackbaud Institute’s 2018 Charitable Giving Report, online giving has grown 17 percent since 2016. Nonprofits raised $2.7 billion through online fundraising in 2018, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the $31.9 billion raised. Faith-based organizations, in particular, saw the highest rate of growth in online giving in 2018.
Looking ahead in 2019, a few things are clear: a strategy that allows online giving will help nonprofit and charitable organizations meet their goals, the ability to meet donors anywhere they prefer to give will be critical in driving donations and activating new donors, and faith-based organizations will continue to increase their technology adoption to support tech-savvy members.
A rise in mobile donations from social platforms
In the last year, mobile giving grew by 24 percent. To welcome younger, digitally native members, nonprofit and faith-based organizations are meeting their new members where they’re most comfortable -- on their phones.
Mobile devices comprise the bulk of Internet traffic and as social platforms like Instagram experiment with new features to make charitable giving easier, building a mobile-first donation strategy that takes advantage of trends in social media will become integral to the success of an organization’s mission. Whether you’re looking to engage with new donors who are passionate about the environment or expanding your congregation to attract millennials, the common thread is the ubiquity of mobile and social media use.
Omnichannel donation capabilities will carry the day
Today, your local scouting troop can process credit card transactions on the spot. It’s just as easy for houses of worship and other nonprofit organizations to streamline their giving processes, too.
Putting in place the technology to accept donations through many channels--text-to-give, Instagram Stories, mobile payment tools and more--will certainly be one of the top technology priorities for nonprofit and faith-based organizations this year. When you’re able to reach your community and enable giving at any time and place, and even enable community members to set up easy recurring payments, that’s when you’re going to see real changes to your giving platform and experience growth.
The challenge to date has been that most organizations have needed to cobble together payments capabilities from different vendors because employees often lacked the technical skills needed to deal with each payment platform: online giving here, mobile donations there, text-to-pay from somewhere else entirely. Now, newer integrated payment capabilities have made it easier for employees who don’t have a technology background to work with it, lower the barrier to entry.
Faith-based giving will explode
Faith-based organizations are still a few years behind most other nonprofits in terms of enabling digital giving, but we’re seeing that begin to change. Newer congregation members and preachers and staff who are comfortable with technology basics are helping the sector rapidly catch up to its peers.
As noted, last year faith-based organizations saw the greatest increase in online giving compared to other nonprofit organizations and charities. As these organizations begin to use more mobile- and social-first strategies, more members will be able to tithe and donate with the click of a button.
By focusing on making giving as easy as possible and connecting with new donors wherever they are, nonprofit organizations can use technology to increase charitable giving and maximize their missions’ impact.