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Online Giving: Key Insights from Around the Globe

Donors from around the world are increasingly embracing online fundraising—but there are key regional differences in how individuals engage online, a new study reveals.

To determine the impact of technology on giving, Nonprofit Tech for Good and the Public Interest Registry explored data from more than 4,000 donors in 95 countries across six continents. The inaugural Global Trends in Giving Report, released in September 2017, indicates that 61 percent of donors worldwide prefer to give online (versus through direct mail, events, mobile giving, or workplace giving).

Social media emerged in the report as a force for global giving. Social media and fundraising events, respondents reported, motivate them to give more than r media like email, websites, television, or radio. Facebook is key: 62 percent of donors say Facebook is the platform that most inspires them to give, followed by Twitter (15 percent), Instagram (10 percent), YouTube (6 percent), and LinkedIn (3 percent).

Data for each region tells a more nuanced story, though, about global online giving.

The donor community in Africa, survey authors write, is small but growing. According to the 2017 Global NGO Technology Report, fewer than half of the organizations in Africa with websites also have the capability to accept online donations. Engaging on mobile devices is a trend here: 16 percent of donors in Africa prefer to give through mobile, which is the highest of any region. WhatsApp is more popular in Africa in terms of fundraising than in other regions, inspiring 20 percent of giving from this survey's donors.

Giving is "an integral part of cultural norms and religious practice throughout Asia," according to the survey. Seventy-six percent of Asian donors donate volunteer time. Fewer than half of surveyed donors in Asia prefer to give online, but social media and mobile technology are paving the way for Asia to be the world's most tech-savvy donor community in the future.

Australia & Oceana
Donors in Australia and Oceania are unique, write survey authors. They tend to be younger than those in other regions, and they are less ideologically polarized. (Thirty-nine percent define themselves as politically moderate.) Donors in Australia and Oceania attend fundraising events the most often: 70 percent report doing so. Facebook influences their giving more than it does other donors worldwide.

Europe's donor community is the "most internationally generous in the world," according to the survey. Some 62 percent of European donors surveyed give to NPOs and NGOs located outside their country. Compared to donors in other regions, donors in Europe are the least likely to attend fundraising events. Fifty-seven percent of them prefer to give online.

North America
Donors in North America have had the most time over the last two decades to acclimate themselves to giving online, write the survey authors. Sixty-two percent prefer to give online-the highest rate in the world. Respondents reported that events, email, and social media equally inspire them to give.

South America
Donors in South America are concentrated in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, write the survey authors, "but throughout the continent there is a concerted effort being made by civil society to organize and empower the charitable sector." Thirty-eight percent of South America donors are inspired to give by social media. Though Facebook is most dominant, WhatsApp is also popular here.

This article is from the September 2017 BriefCASE issue of BriefCASE.