6 Ways Technology Has Changed Philanthropy

Efforts to be philanthropic have become significantly easier with the introduction of technology. Typical barriers to donating are eliminated and allow more people than ever before to donate to worthy causes. You can also be more aware of issues around the world and how you can help out. Here are a few ways that technology has contributed to people donating money to fight homelessness, environmental causes, poverty, or any other issues they feel passionate about.

Any amount counts

The mentality for donations used to be that it was ideal to do so after getting established and having a consistent income. With the ability to donate small amounts, even a dollar, more people are willing to contribute to causes they care about. Even a small donation gives a feeling of goodwill and satisfaction to the donor and helps out the organization.

Keeping it anonymous

Some people don’t want to be identified when they donate to a cause. Charity balls or galas were once a primary method of raising money, but now anyone can donate without being identified if they so choose. Fundraisers are no longer the only option when it comes to donating to charities.

Expansion of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has exploded as a way for lesser-known causes to obtain funding, from organizations to individuals. The power comes from spreading the cause through social media profiles to reach thousands, sometimes millions, of people. If each person contributes a small amount, the goal can be met much sooner than with traditional fundraising methods. Potential donors can browse the various causes and choose to support one that they feel passionate about.

Donating through text

Almost everyone has a cell phone, so why not use text messaging as an avenue to donate to a worthy cause? Nonprofits are expanding their capabilities to raise funds for rescue efforts connected with international crises such as the Ebola outbreak or devastating earthquakes that rattled Japan and Haiti. We’re now more aware of causes throughout the world and people in need. We also have ways we can directly help out those affected by these issues.

Visibility of impact

People want to know exactly how their donation is spent. A larger organization might not give a breakdown of how funds are spent, but smaller ones can give donors a more personalized look into how things operate. Social media has expanded the capabilities of the organizations to communicate with their donor base on a large scale. Larger philanthropies also utilize social media and share their activities and budget breakdown with the general public.

Social media

Social media has allowed donating capabilities to expand beyond what was ever imagined. An example of this was the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness for ALS. Viewers had to do the challenge and/or donate to the cause. In August 2014 alone, the ALS Association received an astounding $115 million in donations. This number was higher than nearly anyone anticipated and helped ALS achieve some great things.