Technology’s Role in Democratizing Charitable Giving

By Gideon Taub, Chief Strategy Officer, Ren

In the wake of recent hurricanes as well as regional conflicts around the world, the role that non-profits play to improve lives has come to the forefront for so many. Donations often make the difference between having or going without vital necessities. In other cases, donors help fund efforts surrounding social causes that are important them. Regardless of the nonprofit’s mission, it’s clear that receiving donations is the fuel that they depend upon. That means it’s crucial to make that donation process as easy and repeatable as possible – and by harnessing the power of today’s latest technologies, everyone involved in the giving process – from donors to financial institutions and the charitable organization themselves, can more readily stay involved.

When people hear about vehicles for giving such as donor-advised funds, it’s often an overwhelming or distant concept. Many individuals may even consider these tools to be exclusive to the very wealthy. But just as general banking has become more streamlined with digital tools that offer many simple and easy processes for what previously required a branch visit or phone call, charitable giving and the organizations involved in that process are also turning to technology to make giving faster and easier leveraging these giving vehicles for anyone, regardless of the amount being donated.

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It’s clear that if donors can give at their fingertips, on their phone or computer, and if that process is engaging, rewarding and hassle-free, not only are they more apt to give, but they are more likely to donate again and to share and include their friends and family in those experiences. And when technology is available to the many different audiences that help inspire or facilitate giving, everyone wins, including:

  • Financial Institutions – Wealth firms, banks, and credit unions know that creating a close relationship with their customers is key to retaining business. If they make donation options a part of their customers’ online experience, they create more personal connections with the customer while also making a great impact on the community.
  • Employers – Today’s younger generations and workers have proven to be heavily belief-driven and eager to support causes that are important to them. When technology is put in place for employees to regularly give, or give alongside their fellow employees, the results can be inspiring and create a sense of “team” giving. Employers often choose to use it as an opportunity to share news surrounding the company’s corporate giving. And employees like to know that they work for an organization with the same commitment to giving that they themselves consider important.
  • Charitable Organizations – It’s all about exposure to potential donors when it comes to success. Without access to donors or the ability to easily solicit donations, challenges arise. Nonprofits can use technology to engage BOTH high net worth individuals as well as the public to reach their goals.
  • Individuals – With the right technology in place, individual donors are armed with the ability to donate immediately for causes spanning both local and international efforts. They’re also in control and gain peace of mind knowing that their donation is going to the intended organization. Further, many donors benefit from tools to budget for their giving, and today’s tools help them do just that.

In the philanthropic sector, technology translates into added engagement – and that’s the lifeblood of the mission. When donations can be made with less friction and more personal fulfilment, it’s a win-win for all.

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