The Benefits of Online Fundraising

More and more nonprofit organizations and schools have implemented online fundraising programs—ePhilanthropy—to augment more traditional fundraising efforts, reach new constituents, and deepen their relationship with existing constituents.

Online fundraising can generate significant revenue in a very short time. In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, several large nonprofits received media coverage regarding the volume of tsunami relief donations they received online. For example, over 50% of the donations the United States Fund for UNICEF received in the first three weeks of the disaster were contributed online ($30 million of the $50 million donated).

Nonprofits supporting tsunami disaster relief were able to receive, access, and mobilize donations quickly due to the nature of the Internet, which facilitates fast and secure fund transfer. The ultimate beneficiaries—tsunami survivors—received aid more quickly as a result.

The tsunami disaster prompted many individuals to contribute to various relief organizations in small amounts—contributions made easier by the ubiquitous nature of the Web. Another, more recent example of the power of online fundraising is political fundraising. Barak Obama raised $91 million in the first two months of 2008 alone, most of it in small amounts over the Internet.

Online fundraising enables nonprofits to reach out to donors they could not reach using traditional methods, even if they could afford and support a national fundraising campaign. The individual donors for the campaigns described above are scattered across the U.S.—but a few clicks away from supporting their causes.

ePhilanthropy provides benefits for nonprofits regardless of their size:
  • Extended reach to potential donors
  • Cost-effective collection
  • The ability to create, adjust, and direct an appeal almost instantaneously
  • Fast access to donated funds
  • Flexible reporting
For donors, the advantages are clear:
  • Convenience, ease of use and security
  • Peace of mind in knowing that the donation has been received
  • Immediate acknowledgement and receipt of the transaction

Online giving is just one aspect of ePhilanthropy. In addition to offering online giving, nonprofits and schools can collect information and process payments for fundraising events, classes, seminars, membership, tuition, even retail sales.