A trip to the mall, a stroll through the neighborhood and the latest TV commercial say it loud and clear: the holiday season is here. In addition to shopping, presents and time with family, a big part of the next several weeks will include donors looking to give to charitable causes.
In fact, charitable donations will reach their highest levels of the year this month, with the Chronicle of Philanthropy reporting that one-third of all annual donations are made in December. This increased giving activity requires that nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes be prepared to not only maximize donations but to handle the influx of transactions and dollars.
So how can nonprofits take full advantage of the busiest weeks of the year without getting buried?
Technology, in a variety of forms, is the answer. We will continue to see this trend increase as more and more donors, and nonprofit organizations, become comfortable with electronic giving options such as online giving, mobile giving and text-to-give:
- online giving - online giving, through websites and online platforms, has grown 11.8 percent year-over-year, while overall giving has grown only 3.8 percent.
- mobile giving - According to a 2013 Google/Compete study, 25 percent of donors report that they donated on a mobile device, with almost half doing so through a mobile browser.
- text-to-give - Nearly one-in-ten Americans has made a donation via text message, according to Pew.
- electronic communication—Remember to say thank you to your donors and be consistent in sharing information about how their support helps.
With the use of technology, nonprofits can better manage their collection, fundraising and communications efforts all in one place – during the busy holiday season and throughout the year. GiveCentral is proud to offer all of these services to its nonprofit clients, helping them grow their organizations.
Improving efficiencies and amplifying fundraising messages can have a significant effect on donations. In fact, recent GiveCentral research reports that organizations that integrate online giving options and electronic communications with their traditional fundraising outreach experience increases of up to 50 percent in total donations.
On the flip side, technology makes giving easier and more convenient for donors, especially as the mobile revolution marches on: there will be 246 million smartphones in the United States alone by 2017, more than one for every adult.
This holiday season, remember to thank those who help support your mission and realize technology can be a key to leveraging the busiest giving weeks of the year, helping to build relationships and increasing donations for your organization.
Patrick Coleman is President & CEO of GiveCentral, a web-based donation platform designed to improve fundraising efforts and donor management for nonprofits.