As we gear towards a post-pandemic future, there are many changes that are here to stay - such as in the increasingly remote world. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses around the world to adopt online operations to continue operating even amidst restrictions and lockdowns. Technology has played an integral role in helping businesses and nonprofit organizations alike to adopt a remote environment. More specifically, through the increased use of technology and establishment of accessible online services, donors today are more encouraged to give, and alongside this reality; and there have been many key changes in terms of preferences and motivations.
The new-age of giving is online.
Evidently, the future of giving goes hand in hand with technology and online platforms. For instance, according to Blackbaud Institute, in 2021 there was a 9% year over year growth in online giving (Blackbaud Institute). This increase in online giving has been accompanied with a change in preference as well. Donors today, specifically a younger generation, demand that online giving experiences be seamless and convenient - much like the one-click e-commerce spaces created for shoppers (Hoag). Furthermore, as indicated by The Blackbaud Institute, 28% of online donations in 2021 occurred using mobile devices, which aligns with the need for a seamless online giving experience (Blackbaud Institute)
However, with an increasingly online platform for giving and the ease of finding information on the internet, there comes a need for transparency and noticeable impact in the giving experience. A lack of transparency can often be a barrier to giving as 65% of donors want greater insight into the impact that they have (Fidelity Charitable). Furthermore, 41% of donors indicated that through “increased knowledge” about how effective a nonprofit is, they changed their giving (Fidelity Charitable). Many of the donors I have talked to at Geenees found that a distinguishing factor for their giving experience was knowing the family’s story (ie. who exactly the donation was going towards).
Another added benefit of online giving experiences is accessibility, as through an online medium donors with a device can donate from any corner of the world and with a click of a button. This inherently also encourages more people to donate as it is convenient and accessible to all.
The intersection of technology and younger donors
Looking towards young donors, notably Millennials and Gen Z - technology and online giving has empowered many key changes. For instance, the need for transparency (as noted above) is further amplified for younger donors - as 78% of millennials said they were “very likely or somewhat likely” to stop donating if the impact of their donation was unclear (Bouw). A younger generation of donors desire a direct impact alongside measurable results stemming from their contribution towards an organization (Hoss). The more transparent an online giving experience is, the greater amount of trust can be fostered within a younger generation and nonprofit organizations.
In addition to trust, younger donors also look for ease of in-app and online donations (Perry Davis Associates). Finally, when leveraging technology to create an online giving experience, mobile-friendliness should be of utmost importance, as 25% of donors will use their phone to search up nonprofits, as well as 25% will also complete a donation using their phone (Pun). Thus, when trying to build a meaningful relationship with younger donors for nonprofit longevity, technology plays a vital role and effective use can encourage increased giving.
What does this all mean for nonprofits?
There is no doubt that these shifts in technology and online giving are here to stay, but what does this mean for the future? Well, with a rapid increase in online giving, it is evident that nonprofit organizations and charities need to adopt technology forward practices that allow them to build a seamless online giving experience, whilst tapping into a younger generation of donors which may not be otherwise engaged. However, at the same time organizations must ensure they are keeping transparency and impact at the core of their operations - as this distinction can be a deciding factor for many donors. In my experience, while many nonprofits know the importance of technology, few actually prioritize taking the leap and adopting it.
As the pioneer of the new age of giving, Geenees is at the forefront of change for nonprofit organizations. If you are a nonprofit organization looking to tap into a new generation of donors with an innovative platform that saves time and resources - we can help you. Check us out here by clicking below:
Bouw, Brenda. “When Giving to Charity, Millennials Want Transparency and Accountability.” The Globe and Mail, 22 Dec. 2016, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/globe-investor/personal-finance/genymoney/when-it-comes-to-charitable-giving-millenials-want-transparency-and-accountability/article33399509/.
“The Future of Philanthropy.” Fidelity Charitable, 2016, https://www.fidelitycharitable.org/content/dam/fc-public/docs/insights/the-future-of-philanthropy.pdf.
Hoag, Crystal. “How to Engage the Younger Generation of Donors and Why That's Important.” FundEasy, FundEasy, 25 June 2021, https://fundeasy.com/blog/engage-younger-generations-of-donors.
Hoss, Shelley. “Council Post: The Future of Giving: Trends Shaping next-Gen Philanthropy.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 28 Dec. 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesnonprofitcouncil/2021/12/27/the-future-of-giving-trends-shaping-next-gen-philanthropy/?sh=543cfc9b1b88.
“Online Giving Trends.” Blackbaud Institute, 9 Mar. 2022, https://institute.blackbaud.com/charitable-giving-report/online-giving-trends/.
Overcoming Barriers to Giving. Fidelity Charitable, 2017, https://fncs-stage.adobemsbasic.com/content/dam/fc-public/docs/insights/overcoming-barriers-to-giving.pdf.
Pun, Elizabeth. “How to Engage Different Generations of Donors.” Classy, 17 Feb. 2022, https://www.classy.org/blog/how-to-engage-different-generations-of-donors/.
“Special Report: Millennial Giving – Part 2.” Perry Davis Associates, https://perrydavis.com/millennials2/.