Frictionless charity donation

On an annual basis amounting to billions of euros Donated to charities. This is done in all forms i.e. from companies or individuals sponsoring charitable events, to purchasing items of charitable organizations down to the easiest form of direct money donation via credit transfer or direct debit.

Although this leads to huge money transfers, customer experience For most of those donations Not cool and off the beaten track. As all e-commerce players know that the frictionless user journey, especially the non-friction checking procedure, is critical to reducing the rate of abandoned shopping carts. This is no different when donating money, i.e. a good user experience means that people will not give up on their donation and will be more inclined to make the donation again in the future.

This blog describes various forms of online donation (excluding any physical events or sales) and identifies a number of improvement opportunities.

Donation can be done in several ways. Obviously, the most popular method is to transfer the simple balance to the account number of the charitable organization. This can be a one-time or recurring process via an automated transfer process. It is also possible to work with direct debit, where the charity will collect for itself a pre-determined amount from the donor’s bank account on a recurring basis. This results in greater retention of the donor and makes donation easier, but on the other hand, the donor has less control.

But besides this classic shape, there are also other options Like:

  • Donate an amount as part of an online purchase. For example, many airlines allow you to neutralize your carbon footprint, by paying a small additional amount, which is used for carbon reduction projects (eg for afforestation projects)

  • Initiatives where the merchant automatically donates a percentage of the amount spent. This can be managed by the merchant themselves (for example, many platforms have campaigns in which they donate a small amount for each purchase), but there are also centralized platforms, such as Trooper in Belgium.

  • Donate on behalf of someone else, such as making a gift to a family member or friend in the context of a birth, wedding, funeral or birthday. For example, many people replace the wedding list or birth list with a donation drive, where everyone can donate to a charitable cause on behalf of the person getting married or the newborn.

  • Points (loyalty or reward) accumulated, which can be converted into a charity. For example, in a previous employer, each employee earned a number of points, and they can reward other employees who do exceptional work. This employee can spend the points on a personal gift, but they can also convert the points into a charitable donation.

  • small donationsFor example, many banks offer the possibility of assignment of very small amounts of residual securities (for example, small positions resulting from a company’s action), which will likely cost the commission of the sale more than the actual value. Since the bank is able to accumulate all the securities assigned from different clients, this can accumulate to a large lump sum. Other banks offer the ability to round all payment transactions to the next unit and give these approximate differences to charities.

  • crowdfunding platforms, such as GoFundMe, Fundly, Bonfire, Giveffect, Snowball, Kentaa, Givengain … These platforms allow the financing of a tangible good cause (ie a project or goal) by raising small amounts from a large group of people. Clearly defined goal and the ability to show real-time development towards the goal, inspires people to donate.

  • Include charity in your will (eg This practice is being used more and more, as in some cases it can provide very interesting tax benefits, but it is clear that people need to be aware of the option and the user journey should be as friction-free as possible.

  • Donation MarketsWhich provides an overview of the various charitable organizations and facilitates the donation journey. These platforms often also offer options such as contributing to a “kit of charitable causes”. This way your small contribution is distributed to a range of different charitable causes. In addition, many of these platforms also put rankings on the effectiveness of each charitable cause, allowing donors to compare different charitable causes (eg GiveWell, EffectiveAltruism, Giving What We Can,…)

  • Convert vouchers into charity. Coupons (eg gift vouchers) often expire and are not used. It may be win-win for you to donate these unused coupons (that have not yet expired) to a charity, which can then turn the coupons into actual money, either by auctioning them off, via an agreement with the coupon issuer (in part) to offset the coupons or for way to actually use it to support the less fortunate.

In order to make a charitable platform a success, there are a number of important points to consider:

  • Use gamificationFor example, use game items (check out my blog to be completed) to make donating more fun. This can be by setting clear goals/objectives (make the goal as tangible as possible, eg a UNICEF contribution of a specific amount corresponding to a meal for ten children, a goat for the family…), visualizing the progress in reaching the goal, working with levels, points and boards Results to reward donors…

  • Connect with donorsFor example, send reminders when no donation has been received for a while, explain the purpose of using their specific contribution (make it tangible), make sure the donation is received correctly, communicate when someone is making a donation on your behalf…donors are obviously They must be able to configure their own communication preferences, such as what information and form they want to receive.
    It should also be transparent about the effectiveness of charitable work. Almost all charities have a positive impact, but it is clear that the amount of positive impact varies greatly from one charity to another. Therefore, donors are very sensitive to feeling the effectiveness of their donation. This can be achieved primarily through communication about the use of funds (transparency), through rigorous monitoring and evaluation and communication about all the different benefits that the charity generates (eg job creation, local economic growth, social benefits, environmental improvements…).

  • allow to Easily extract data Among all your previous contributions, but also all the details of the people who made a contribution in your name. It should also be possible to easily receive or download your annual tax credit forms.

  • Involve donors To promote a charitable cause (i.e. turn funders into promoters), i.e. get them to share stories on social media or to send personal messages to their contacts to make a contribution as well, set up a get-a-member initiative, and allow them to set up their peer-to-peer fundraising campaign (at eg in the context of a birthday, birth, marriage…) … It is clear that the donor should be helped as much as possible through the platform to make the effort minimal for him or her. For example, by choosing the target audience and allowing to easily set up a nice message/campaign, then send the campaign automatically (via mail, SMS, social media…), to be able to track the results of the campaign and be able to easily thank the people who They contributed.

  • Donate in the name of frictionless As much as possible, which means making one-time donations as much as a one-click action (with support for different payment methods such as credit card, debit card, Paypal …), but also for setting up online direct debit authorizations with the easy possibility of adapting the recurring donation amount.

  • Giving back to donorsFor example, allowing them to choose a product or service offered by sponsors, sharing personal thank-you messages on social media to donors (which the donor can share with friends), and engaging them in certain decisions, for example giving them voting rights to make strategic or less formal decisions But it’s more fun, like choosing a name for specific initiatives/products/services… A good example of this is you become the godfather/godmother of an animal in a zoo and you are recognized by a little sign in the zoo but also allows you to choose the name of the animal.

The current experience of donating is clearly not great. As banks become more sensitive to online banking, it could be a great opportunity for banks to set up a charitable platform or at least integrate certain features into online and mobile banking. This can help a lot in improving the position of the bank as a Sustainable, ethical and environmental the actor.


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