If you aren’t so sure about this online giving world, this post is for you! If you’re a nonprofit, you’re encouraged to share these reasons to donate online with those you know. For example, you can provide a different factoid around the benefits of giving in your monthly or weekly newsletters. You could also create an FAQ on the benefits of giving or ask those that have given online to share why they did as mini-testimonials on your Web site.
Quick Tip: Before you donate, make a get-to-know you date. There are a lot of places where you can donate online and each of them come with their own policies, guidelines and fine print. Be sure to educate yourself on the service you’re using as well as the organization itself to make sure you feel *extra* confident about your decision to give online. Now, on with the show…
If you give online, your life will be easier because:
1. Your donations are still tax deductible. Even though you give online, your gift is still tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law. You will, however, need to retain your donation receipt (usually sent through email) as a record.
2. You see results, instantly. Scott Rampy (my dad and fellow serial fundraiser) shares that he donates online because of “convenience and the impact of showing the dollars a cause has in real time” as a way to motivate others to match it. He points out that before online giving was a possibility, no one often knew the full amount raised and by the time the amount raised was known, it was often communicated long after the cause was over.
3. It’s convenient. If you give online, there’s no messing with any checks, envelopes or stamps. You also don’t have to drive anywhere to drop off the donation. And, you can usually donate within five minutes or less! According to one online donor, she donates online because “it’s less effort than doing it offline.”
4. You can set-up recurring donations. Adding to this convenience, you can sometimes set-up recurring donations with the organization you are donating to through their online giving system. This automates the process, requiring no more reminder post-its!
5. In most cases, you can stay up-to-date easier. When you donate online, you often have to go to that organization’s Web site or online presence. This often means that you get a quick scan of the latest news and updates on the cause you want to support. When donating online, you can also opt-in for email updates and sometimes, you can choose the type and frequency of the emails you receive.
6. You open doors to opportunities you didn’t know existed. Since you’re online, you aren’t constricted to geographical boundaries or what you already know. You can learn about a whole new host of different causes, organizations and efforts to put your money towards. This empowers you, the donor, with more choice and opportunity to make an impact.
7. You can double the effect of your donation. You can often give anonymously online, but you can also own your donation and let others know about why you donated as well. In other words, you can double your impact by not only giving but by encouraging a friend to also donate or by posting a comment to cheer the organization (or individual) onward. When you share the news about why you donated with others, you also help increase awareness of the issue itself.
8. Track your giving history. Want to challenge yourself by increasing your donation but can’t recall what you gave? Online giving services often provide you the ability to track your giving history. This helps organize the information for you, leaving you informed to make the best decision.
9. No more mail! If you donate to your organization online, you can often go paperless! This means one less letter for you to open amid your piles of mail (and clutter).
10. Your friends and family will be happier. We know that people tend to donate to causes their friends and family support. With the increased use of social fundraising being intermixed with your social network of choice, it’s easier to stay in-the-know when people you care about are working to make a difference. By donating online, you can help support them, encourage them and rally them on.
There are a variety of benefits to give online. What did I miss? How does giving online make your life easier?