In 1997 the American Red Cross raised $172,000 via its Web site. In 1998 it raised $2.5 million via the site. This year back in April it was raising $1 million per month.
The average online donation in 1998 was $110, which was roughly the same as those received via the free-phone telephone number.
What makes the site so successful? The Red Cross believe that it is down to updating the site regularly, adding news about disasters as it breaks, and including a noticable “Donate Now” button on the main page.
These figures are reported in the current issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The report also mentions the $500,000 donation received by Cornell University as a result of their Web site. A bird watcher was so impressed by the university’s ornithological laboratory’s work as described on the Web site that he sent in the pledge via e-mail.