More Kinds of Digital Giving Are Gaining Popularity Globally
Donors around the world are increasing their forms of digital giving, according to a new report released by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving looks at emerging trends in digital giving in eight countries, including trends related to cryptocurrency, contactless giving, donor advised funds, workplace giving, and impact investing.
The report does not look specifically at trends in the United States, and Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the school, said the report can show US charities ways other countries are being innovative with their use of donations.
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Donors around the world are increasing the amount and the number of ways they give digitally, according to a new report released by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
“Digital for Good: a Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving” looks at trends in digital giving in eight countries, including the use of cryptocurrency, contactless giving, donor-advised funds, workplace giving, and impact investing.
The report does not examine trends in the United States. But Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the school, says it can show U.S. charities ways other countries are being innovative with their use of donations.
“The takeaway, especially for nonprofits, donors, fundraisers, is to look at the global landscape and see what new and traditional uses are becoming more prevalent,” Osili says. “What we have found is that there are these new opportunities for engaging donors around the world.”
Innovative Uses Highlighted
The report discusses some basic uses of varying forms of electronic giving. For example, the prevalence of contactless giving, which the report describes as giving online or through smart devices rather than cash, increased worldwide during the pandemic.
The report also highlights innovative and sometimes country-specific uses of digital giving, such as in South Korea, where a phone-giving method unique to the region — called an automatic response system — has increased in use. The nation also saw an increase in General Interbank Recurring Orders, another homegrown giving method, which allows recurring donations directly from bank accounts.
“This report can help nonprofits to better understand the different forms of giving and also understand how donors are using them and how to engage with them,” Usili says. “Keep a closer look at new things that have opened up and see how they can work for your nonprofit. With the Ukraine, for example, you could download a QR code or a link to give.”
Cryptocurrency was popular in South Africa and South Korea. Regulatory issues made it less common in places like Britain. However, with most of the data collected before the collapse of FTX and the general decline in value of the currency, Usili says donors may be “skeptical” of giving with the currency now.
Donor-advised funds, the report notes, have long been around in Canada and Britain. Now they’re growing as giving vehicles in China and Singapore, but not in South Africa.
The report notes that workplace giving — where donors choose to have money taken from their paychecks and contributed to nonprofits, sometimes with an employer match — has risen significantly in Kenya and South Africa. The increase has been a boon for local nonprofits.
Usili suggests U.S. nonprofits take note of this, as many smaller local charities often struggle with fundraising. “I have been really kind of inspired by the innovation that is taking place around the world,” she says. “Especially, I think, stories around workplace giving. This is a time when companies are looking at new ways of engaging their employees in ways nonprofits can provide.”
The report offers a chance for nonprofits to look at forms of giving that many of them aren’t used to offering, Usili says. As an example, she points to crowdfunding. “This has an air of experimentation around it for a lot of organizations, not just here in the U.S. but globally,” she says. “But it’s worth learning those lessons.”