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Giving Through PayPal Breaks $1B Threshold


16 January 2018 at 4:47 pm
Wendy Williams
A record amount of more than $1 billion was donated to charities through the PayPal platform during the Christmas period as experts say people are turning to new ways of giving.


Wendy Williams | 16 January 2018 at 4:47 pm


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Giving Through PayPal Breaks $1B Threshold
16 January 2018 at 4:47 pm

A record amount of more than $1 billion was donated to charities through the PayPal platform during the Christmas period as experts say people are turning to new ways of giving.

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announced in the corporate blog on Friday that more than US$1 billion (A$1.25 billion) had been donated in the period between 27 November and 31 December marking the first time the platform has “crossed the $1 billion threshold”.

It brings the total amount of money donated on the PayPal platform in 2017 to more than US$8.5 billion (A$10.7).

According to Schulman the record breaking results showed “the giving power, compassion, and global reach” of the PayPal community, which spans 181 countries.

“While the whole is incredibly inspiring, I am deeply motivated by the parts – by the people all around the world giving $10, $5, maybe even less in some instances, simply because they want to help. Because they see what is happening and say, ‘we can do better’,” Schulman said.

“$1 billion over the holidays and $8.5 billion for the full year are the headlines, but the real magic is in the increments – the individuals and the individual donations of every size that drive the aggregate numbers.”

According to the PayPal giving tracker, Australians gave more than $18 million via PayPal over the holiday period, placing the nation sixth in the world for total amount given.

PayPal head of enterprise strategy Colin Baines told Pro Bono News the record breaking year for online donations reflected current giving trends.

“We have seen that as people embrace new ways of giving and donating becomes easier than ever before, people are giving and donating more to those in need,” Baines said.

“Our research and the figures from 2017 show that the trend of online donations, and particularly mobile, is increasing. We’re finding that by providing quick, easy, and secure ways for people to donate to causes they care about, people are more inclined to give back.

“The huge figure reached over the 2017 holiday period is 18 per cent higher than in 2016, and demonstrates the trend towards more donors opting for more convenient methods of giving. Mobile is a great example of this, with 21 per cent of PayPal donations made in the holiday period coming from mobile devices.”

Baines said Australia was a great example of the growing trend towards online giving.

“Research we conducted in December 2017 found that 51 per cent of Australians actually prefer to make donations online, and the PayPal giving tracker found that Australia was sixth in the world for number of people who made charitable donations over the holiday period via PayPal,” he said.

“While the same research found examples of ‘donor fatigue’ starting to creep in, the reality is that Australians are motivated to give, but are choosing new ways to do so.

“PayPal is grateful to be part of the global giving trend, connecting people with the organisations that mean the most to them.”

The news comes a month after PayPal released new research that suggested Australians were tired of traditional donation methods, with 45 per cent feeling suspicious about the authenticity of face-to-face charity collectors, and 35 per cent saying they felt awkward when they couldn’t give to charity tins because they did not have cash on them.

Speaking in December Libby Roy, the managing director of PayPal Australia, called on Australian charities 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,” Roy 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.”


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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