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Online donations up 85% in three years

Online donations up 85% in three years

Online donations have risen 85% from 2% to 3.7% in just three years, according to new research from nfpSynergy.

The second edition of the report ‘Passion, persistence, and partnership: the secrets of earning more online’ sponsored by MissionFish and ebay for Charity with the Institute of Fundraising, shows that online donations still lag behind online retail sales, which account for almost 10% of UK retail. However, the research, which follows on from the first edition published in 2008, reveals that charities are taking a more sophisticated and ‘holistic’ approach to online communications and not just trying to turn clicks into cash.

A huge 71% of the sample use Facebook to engage with supporters, 62% use Twitter and 50% use YouTube. More charities say they use the web for education than as a fundraising tool. The report says that “social media platforms have become tools for listening and learning, not just broadcasting ‘at’ people”.

EBay itself has seen total funds raised through eBay for Charity up by 213% in two years, donations from eBay users up 500% and trading by charities on eBay up 123%.

More than half the charities surveyed said that senior staff are driving online strategy, whereas three years previously this was not the case. Many said they were undergoing radical website redesigns or launching new social media strategies, indicating an acceptance of the need to invest in online activity.

The research also says that the internet is the biggest chance to engage the next generation of givers. “Connecting and interacting online with the younger generations, and building new relationships, offers charities the single greatest hope of increasing participation in giving over the long-term, and is therefore vital to the health of the sector as a whole,” says the report.

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