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A decade of doing good online – How online donors have evolved

— Media & Technology —

Using the Internet to do good is getting, well, “gooder.”

Network for Good, a fund-raising and volunteerism website that facilitates online giving, celebrated their tenth anniversary at the end of 2011.  In honor of a decade of doing good online, they released an infographic representing the evolution of the online donor over the past ten years.

online donations

Some of the key points?  Online philanthropy is now the norm, as the majority of people donating to social causes are doing so online.

According to Network for Good’s findings, only 4 percent of donors made their charitable contributions via the Internet in 2001.  In 2011, that number grew to 65 percent – a 1,600 percent increase over the past decade.  The general concern over whether online transactions are secure or not barely exists anymore, and a variety of tools are now commonly used to make the online giving process much more seamless.  In two mouse clicks, you can instantaneously donate to a cause halfway around the world from you.

The average donation in 2001 through the Network for Good website was $226.  In 2011?  The average gift dropped to $73 – a shift that Network for Good interprets as an indication that online giving is going more mainstream, with the prevalence of disaster relief donations a key sign.

Comparatively, 1 in 10 donations made to 9/11 relief efforts in 2001 were made online, while 1 in 3 donations were given through the Internet (including mobile) to earthquake relief efforts in Japan in 2011.

It’s no question that the increase in utilization and popularity of social media has played a part in the rise of online giving.

While your grandparents still may ask, “What is social media?,” today, an increasing amount of people are using their blogs, social media accounts and other online resources as tools of social change, to spread the word about causes they’re passionate about and to prompt action from others.  Many are cost-effective, easy to use and they work.  Social media has incited a heightened awareness of causes and political events worldwide, and has even influenced major governmental change.

Clearly, the Internet is a pretty powerful thing.  And this is only the beginning.

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