We Need to Make Online Giving Easier and More Compelling

There is one industry that has not seen widespread success on the internet—philanthropy.

Internet technology has become a part of our daily lives. Nearly everything we once did in the “real” world we now do in our “digital” realm, including, of course, shopping. In 2011, Americans spent nearly $200 billion shopping online, a growth of over 20 percent in 2010. The budding industry of mobile retail reached a new high of $6 billion that same year.

But there is one industry that has not seen widespread success on the Internet: philanthropy. The gap between online shopping and online donating, although closing, remain worlds apart. Chartable organizations need to identify how to conquer a single significant hurdle, how to no longer live on the periphery of media.

In 2011, individuals in the U.S. donated over $260 billion to nonprofit organizations, yet according to Blackbaud, a leading online fundraiser, only 6.3% of donations originated online!

Why the gap? Three reasons: lack of consumer trust, nonprofits limited financial resources, and suppressed awareness and visibility.

Nonprofits are placed at a financial disadvantage as they are expected to operate on limited means while providing tier-one support for social and environmental causes. This limits their ability to build a trusted brand, implement new scalable/secure technology, and have a marketing/PR budget to help them to shout from the rooftops to tell everyone they exist. It’s hard to shine when there are over a million-and-a-half other nonprofits to compete against throughout the U.S.

It’s unfortunate that we have yet to solve the problem. Often, important causes are overlooked while the latest mobile phone is anxiously anticipated. This isn’t about good or bad, right or wrong. It's simply about getting out of our own way. We need to be able to support humanity and the planet—and let’s not forget the furry little creatures that make us smile.

Sharif Youssef is the founder and CEO of iGivefirst, a technology startup that makes charitable giving as easy as liking or tweeting. Here's how you can use iGivefirst.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user Jeffery Turner.


Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less