One element of the World Wide Web that has seeing extensive activity recently is the growth in charity websites. Long left behind with only 15% of all nonprofits what are in-kind donations having a website as recently as 1999, much has changed since then, Some of the more recent developments supporting the growth in charity websites are:
Significant growth in electronic money transfer capabilities
Dedicated efforts by web developers to create custom web templates for nonprofits
Continued revenue growth for charity websites due to 1 & 2 above
Electronic money transfers
One of the major areas fueling the growth of charity websites is the rapid advancement in a nonprofit’s ability to accept donations from donors electronically. With safe and secure encrypted financial transactions now the norm, many fears once associated with conducting one-on-one electronic financial transactions via the web have been alleviated.
With the use of major credit cards (and the increased use of debit cards as well) now being “the norm” for finalizing donations, a completely new model for gathering donations has emerged. With cash and checks becoming the exception rather than the rule (although still cheerfully accepted), nothing beats the speed and decisiveness of an electronic donation when it comes to seeing the contribution hit the charity’s bottom line and quickly becoming available funds to work with.
Recently, web developers have started to create custom templates designed specifically for use with nonprofit websites. Being much more service oriented than traditional ship-from-stock business models, nonprofits and charities have different requirements pertaining to social networking, getting their message out, serving clients, and collecting contributions that allow them to continue to provide their valuable services.
Finally getting the attention that they deserve, charity websites now have a few web design champions focused on helping them to present a broader picture of their total services and activities. With the ability to present more than just a mission statement, an “about us” page, and contact information or hours of operation, the new and improved charity websites focus on the ease of collecting contributions, presenting professional grade videos that support current initiatives, and testimonials from clients and donors alike.
Massive amounts of contributions are now handled securely with an example being over $5 billion dollars being donated to charities via the web after a devastating tsunami struck Southern Asia and Africa. In addition, research indicates that nonprofit online revenues grew 26% and people making online gifts rose by 32%. These are compelling numbers that just beg for nonprofits to undertake the steps necessary to launch and sustain charity websites with the ability to accept donations online.