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Australian Charities Urged to Enable Mobile Donations This Christmas

12 December 2017 at 3:03 pm
Luke Michael
Charities need to modernise their donation strategies and utilise mobile and tap-and-go payments, or they risk missing out on donations from digitally-savvy consumers this Christmas, according to new research.

Luke Michael | 12 December 2017 at 3:03 pm


Australian Charities Urged to Enable Mobile Donations This Christmas
12 December 2017 at 3:03 pm

Charities need to modernise their donation strategies and utilise mobile and tap-and-go payments, or they risk missing out on donations from digitally-savvy consumers this Christmas, according to new research.

A research study released last Friday by online payment company PayPal, found that while 52 per cent of Australians associate Christmas with making charitable donations, 30 per cent would be more likely to donate to charity if mobile payments were enabled.

A further 23 per cent said they would make larger charitable contributions if they could tap-and-go with their credit card when approached by charity workers.

This survey of 1,000 people in November revealed only 12 per cent of Australians have had the opportunity to donate to charity via mobile, despite 72 per cent of smartphone users already utilising mobile payments.

Libby Roy, the managing director of PayPal Australia, said “charities without a comprehensive digital donation strategy will miss out this Christmas” and beyond, especially as Australia moves towards a cashless society.

“Digitising charitable donations this Christmas – either by mobile-enabling online giving or using tap-and-go payments face-to-face – gives charities a better opportunity to reach younger and more mobile-savvy consumers who are keen to contribute larger donations when digital giving is enabled,” Roy said.

PayPal’s research also suggested that Australians are tired of traditional donation methods, with 45 per cent feeling suspicious about the authenticity of face-to-face charity collectors, while 35 per cent said they felt awkward when they couldn’t give to charity tins because they did not have cash on them.

Added to this, 56 per cent said traditional cold calling was their least preferred method of donating to charity followed by door-to-door charity donations at 49 per cent.

Roy said that for Australian charities to increase their donation flows this Christmas, they needed to get mobile ready and cater to the changing donation preferences of modern Australians.

“With a smartphone, charity can now happen anywhere. Gone are the days when charities had to raise money through cheques sent back by mail and rattling collection tins on street corners,” she said.

“Now, by enabling simple mobile-optimised apps and tap and go technology, charities can re-engage with busy, modern Australians who are simply looking for more convenient ways to make a positive impact.”

World Vision Australia CEO Claire Rogers, told Pro Bono News that her charity had taken heed of the changing nature of charitable donations, and had aligned their digital strategy to be modern and mobile-centric.

As a result, the charity has seen higher value donations coming from mobile.

“This last year we’ve spent a lot of time removing friction and making it easier for people to find the parts of our website where you can give. We have made the mobile experience very easy and straightforward and by doing that… we have seen an increase in usage over the year,” Rogers said.

“It’s a very important channel for us to acquire the revenue to do our work in the field.”

Rogers said she could see these strategies beginning to completely overtake traditional charity donation methods for existing supporters.

“Once the relationship is established and there’s a connection for the work that a charity does, it becomes much more about a really easy way to connect and there isn’t as much of a need for face-to-face communication,” she said.

“Often setting up that initial relationship is a face-to-face experience, because of the depth of understanding of an organisation’s mission that a giver wants to check for alignment. But we’re also using digital in our face-to-face interaction as well.

“This Christmas we’ve got tap-and-go out on our pop-up stalls in retail centres and we’ll continue to use that in a lot of our face-to-face activities.”

Rogers added that even smaller charities could invest in digital donation strategies. But she warned that this required strong leadership to prioritise making donations easier for consumers.

“I think digital has become a lot more accessible and a lot cheaper. The issue is usually the level of understanding… of how important this is and the depths of our consumer behaviour transformation,” she said.

“I think it is a leadership issue to say this is important. Otherwise they’ll always be other higher priorities. Especially in charity work where the mission is so important. The reality is we only are able to achieve that mission when the revenue’s coming in to support that way.

“So it’s really important to focus on what’s changing for supporters and how can we adapt and therefore make life very easy for them.”

Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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