Some time ago, the idea of putting your credit card number on the internet seemed unthinkable, but today almost 80 percent of Americans shop online. And with the holidays coming up, online marketplaces are seeing an impressive spike in both traffic and orders. In fact, this year, more people are expected to shop online than in-store.
While e-commerce has forced traditional brick and mortar retail to evolve, the convenience of online shopping for consumers has been advantageous for online giving. This summer, we talked about how tech trends like the emergence of online payment platforms have made it that much easier for everyone to jump into philanthropy. Millennials are key players in that trend too; the Millennial Impact Report found that 80 percent of Millennials made donations last year, and 62 percent have expressed interest in using mobile as a giving platform.
In 2012, we helped support the first official #GivingTuesday campaign, founded by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. We were very excited to play a part in #GivingTuesday’s transformation from a campaign to a movement, both through our own donation matching campaigns and by supporting the overall tracking of fundraising activity each #GivingTuesday.
Five years later, it’s more convenient than ever to give. New platforms allow users to search for charities that match their interests, donate by shopping for things they’d already buy and use social media to donate and fundraise.
Here are some easy ways you can use tech to give on #GivingTuesday.
If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a variety of platforms that can help you find a cause you’re passionate about and verify the credibility of the organization behind it so you can donate with confidence.
If you shop online, you’re already familiar with PayPal, but did you know that you can also use the payment service for donations? The Paypal Giving Fund lets you browse charities and donate to them online through your PayPal account.
If you’re searching for a specific charity, or already know which issue you want to support, Network for Good* has an online database of over a million charities of all sizes and issue areas. You can also purchase Good Cards on the site if you want to give someone else a gift card that they can use to donate to the charity of their choice.
Interested in taking a more international approach to your giving? Global Giving allows you to donate to vetted projects from around the world and will send you updates on how your money is being put to work.
And if you’re interested in helping educators in the U.S., Donors Choose can connect you to a public school in need. Teachers use the site to share the projects for which they need funds, and how much they need to reach their goals. You can use the site to donate to the classroom project of your choice.
Donating to a crowdfunding campaign is a great way for people on a wide range of budgets to work with others in the online community to help someone in need, and there are several platforms you can use.
GoFundMe allows online donors to contribute to individuals or groups taking on a wide variety of projects and problems. And it’s making a real difference—more than $4 billion has already been raised through the site. If you’re looking to contribute to an individual or a new organization that hasn’t registered as a charity yet, GoFundMe provides that flexibility.
Crowdrise is a social fundraising tool that supports corporations, nonprofits and events. Nonprofits and individuals can set up fundraisers for their favorite cause with specific goals and timelines. Do you want to use your network to expand your impact on #GivingTuesday? Crowdrise can help you do that. The website also allows users to explore trending fundraisers and look for ones in the categories they’re interested in.
A different type of online crowdfunding source is Kiva. Kiva gives users a chance to lend as little as $25 to help people across the globe with everything from going to school to launching a business. Kiva donors get their loans repaid, and then can reuse the repayment for another loan, or withdraw it.
When checking out at a brick and mortar store, you’ve probably been given a chance to round-up your purchase to the nearest dollar or more and have that extra change go to charity. Now you can do that online, and you can choose which charity receives that extra money.
We micro give is an online platform that rounds your online and in-person purchases up to the nearest dollar and donates the change to the charity of your choice. The site allows you to set monthly maximums and provides users with an online dashboard to summarize their giving activity.
Similarly, Coin Up offers a website and an app that donors can use to have their credit and debit card purchases rounded up and donated. The site tracks your donations over time and sends a year-end donation total so you can see your yearlong impact.
Network for Good* recently launched Hippo Give, an app that also helps you make secure donations through purchase roundups. You can support multiple organizations with your spare change and see your donation activity tracked in real time. Hippo Give even makes a donation on your behalf when you get started. It should be noted that this is still in minimum viable product development stage (MVP), but it’s an exciting new platform that shows promise.
And finally, if you use Amazon.com, you can give back without spending an extra dime just by changing the URL. If you use https://smile.amazon.com/, 0.5 percent of your purchase total will go to the charity of your choice.
#Donate Using Social Media
Organizations and individuals often use social media to give their fundraisers a promotional boost, but now there are ways to donate directly though the social media sites themselves.
Facebook has a donating platform that organizations can use year-round to give their followers an easy way to donate and share. And this #GivingTuesday, the site is stepping up its commitment to support online giving through an up-to-$2 million matching campaign in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
You can also donate instantly across social platforms with Goodworld. All you have to do is comment or reply #donate on a participating cause’s Facebook or Twitter post, and you’ll be sent a secure, one-time link you can use to apply your donation.
Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a record $168 million in charitable donations, and we expect to see similar results from today’s activity. Every year, online platforms like these make it that easier, more interactive and more fun for users to donate to causes close to their hearts. Charitable giving is truly just a click away. We hope you’ve been inspired to give to a cause you care this #GivingTuesday (November 28 this year) and throughout the year.
*Brian Sasscer is on the Board of Trustees for Network for Good