Charitable organizations rely heavily on donations to sustain operations and continue to reach individuals in need. According to an article from Bright Funds, a philanthropic organization based out of San Francisco, millennials are changing the philanthropic landscape in many ways.
Millennials are about to surpass baby boomers in terms of purchasing power and move into their prime spending years. This generation has very different expectations from their parents and grandparents when it comes to making online transactions. In order to keep up with the shift in purchasing habits, Apple Pay now offers an instant donation option for non-profits, making it easier than ever to give to a charitable organization.
Millennials have essentially grown up with technology, and some can hardly remember a time before they had a cell phone. This need to stay connected impacts the desire to give charitable donations online and through mobile devices. The article from Bright Funds noted that in 2015, the overall donations to charitable organizations increased by 1.6 percent. On the other hand, donations made online to charitable organizations increased by 9.2 percent in the same year.
Millennials prefer to use the internet for research, information, and shopping, so giving online fits well into their overall spending habits. Many of these millennials also expect the websites and apps they’re using to donate to look modern and appealing. For example, a site that looks outdated or an address to send a contribution by check often won’t sit well with most millennials. Sites like GoFundMe and YouCaring allow for instant payment to a cause that you care about, and the traffic to these sites has increased exponentially, with GoFundMe reporting a projected revenue of $100 million in 2016.
How Apple Pay Fits Into the Mix
In November 2016, Apple announced that Apple Pay would begin supporting instant donations to nonprofit organizations. The purpose was to provide a fast and seamless way for people to donate to their favorite charities. One of the first organizations to accept donations through Apple Pay was UNICEF, a global organization devoted to protecting and defending the rights of children across 190 countries and regions. Since then, other charities have started offering Apple Pay as a way to make donations securely without having to set up an account, enter a credit card number, or fill out a long form with required billing information.
When Apple announced this shift in its payment platform’s capabilities, the VP of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, reported that it would “make it incredibly easy to give back.” She went on to state that apps and websites see double the number of people completing purchases with Apple Pay than any other payment methods. The simplicity and security of Apple Pay seem to appeal to those who don’t want to spend a lot of time filling out a lengthy donation form or pulling out their credit cards to make a donation.
Feedback From Nonprofits
Other nonprofit organizations that accept Apple Pay for donations include:
- Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
- World Wildlife Fund
- American Red Cross
- American Heart Association
- charity: water
- COPD Foundation
- Doctors Without Borders
- Feeding America
- International Rescue Committee
- Save the Children
- World Vision
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Water Project
Apple also reported in its press release about the launch that the American Cancer Society, PBS and local affiliates, United Way, CARE, and DonorsChoose.org would soon be accepting donations through Apple Pay. Some of the nonprofits participating reported that Apple Pay could help to improve the donor conversion funnel, reduce user input, speed up the donation process, and help supporters give back effortlessly.
What Makes It Easier
Prior to announcing this change to Apple Pay, Apple had a rule that none of its iOS apps could be used to make charitable donations. All donations had to be made through another outlet, such as a web browser or text message. The addition of charitable giving through Apple Pay simplified the process of making a donation, since the user would no longer have to go through Safari or send a text to contribute.
Before this change happened, many users relied on options like texting for donations, which either required input of billing information through a website or would charge the donation to the user’s cell phone bill. On the iPhone 6 and later, the TouchID function allowed the user to make a donation by simply pressing their finger to the touchpad for authorization. Payment information is securely stored within the Apple Pay app, eliminating the need to enter a credit card number or bank account information every time you make a payment.
Future of Charitable Giving
Many nonprofits are starting to accept Apple Pay and other instant payment methods for donations to make the process of giving easier for their donors. According to Apple, there are more than 10 million users on Apple Pay, and a million more join each week. TouchID was also added to the newest model of Apple’s MacBook Pro, which added the option to checkout and pay with stored information by fingerprint. The company also reports that transactions made through Apple Pay have increased by close to 500 percent year-over-year, with more transactions taking place in September 2016 than occurred through the entire fiscal year of 2015.
With so much growth potential and the high number of transactions taking place through Apple Pay, nonprofit organizations have much to gain by accepting this method of payment. The CEO and founder of a participating nonprofit, charity: water, stated that nearly a quarter of its donations come through mobile, with a steady increase in mobile traffic over the past few years. Apple is also partnering with Benevity, which helps increase corporate and workplace charitable giving programs, to continue to push the trend of giving upward.
Changes to the philanthropic landscape are constant, and these technological shifts to donations and charitable giving are particularly noteworthy. When studying for a Master’s in Non-Profit Management degree, students often review these trends and look for ways to continue to fundraise more effectively. The online Master of Science in Management – Non-Profit Leadership degree offered by New England College includes courses that focus on skills needed to succeed in nonprofit management.