There have been recent trends of growing online giving and donations to charities and NGOs . As seen in the video posted, something that started as a playful cancer awareness campaign went viral and resulted in £ 1 million pounds raised for over 215 cancer related charities. This shows the power of social media and online fundraising, benefitting charities and NGOs, making them the winners of globalisation.
Let’s look at JustGiving as an example. JustGiving is one of many online technology social enterprise businesses that made the whole process of fundraising easier and more secure. This online charity fundraising platform has raised 2.7 billion dollars for its 11,000 charity members around the world since it started. Giving donations online is more accountable and transparent as charity funds are protected and personal information is secured. As part of the application process, charities are asked to provide bank statements and original statements to prove the legitimacy. Background checks are run and charity credentials are checked to prevent money laundry. The responsibility of taking extra steps to ensure accountability and transparency gains the trust of fundraisers, donors and charities alike. In comparison, donations in the UAE are still collected in old school ways such as boxes placed in shopping malls making it difficult for people to know where their money actually goes or how it is being used.
Over the recent years, there has been a significant increase in online and crowd funding websites which are gaining popularity fast. Based on a study conducted on 115,000 charities in the US, shows that donations rose a 14 % ($ 2.1 billion) between 2012 and 2011. Contributions to charities also grew a 14 % ($ 785 million).
With access to internet becoming more mobile and the usage of social media increasing, charities are focusing on targeting young donors. I recently read an article about an 8 year old who managed to raise AED 10,000 for Operation Smile UAE. Fundraising has no age limit. Donations can be easily made with the click of a button from smart phones, this means that more and more people will donate. Studies also show that people tend to give bigger amounts when using their cards to give donations online. The 5 % cut that JustGiving profits from all donations done through them is invested back into the business. This way, JustGiving is constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to make the donation process easier and faster benefitting charities and NGOs.
All this is the result of globalisaion and the interconnectedness of the digital age. The internet also helped shine light on issues that might have stayed in the dark otherwise, the killing of Muslims in Burma for example. It has helped the youth organize revolutions and whistleblowers expose governments. I have signed countless Amnesty International online petitions about causes I thought were important. It is easier now more than ever for charities to connect to millions of supporters from all over the world and for causes to go viral organically with the help of shares and hashtags. Social media and the internet bring people together, connects them with the causes they are most passionate about and makes it easy for anyone to be an everyday hero.
Balqis Hindash (M00385581, MDX Dubai Campus)