4 initiatives that could change your charity donations


There's no dispute about the priority of donations in charity objectives. Methods of soliciting them however, are continually evolving.  Jingling buckets and a donate page could soon be forgotten as innovation transforms ways of giving. This post highlights 4 initiatives that could impact your donation process.

1. Facebook Donate Button

In 2013 Facebook allowed donations through its pages with chosen partner organisations. Two years later, in August 2015, they opened this up to all non-profit organisations. 

In theory it’s easy, select a 'Call-to-Action' to add a donate button to your charity Facebook page. Make sure you've saved your page as a “Non-Profit Organisation”. It's a simple link to your Donate page, on your website or external giving portal.

If your charity is active and engaging with your supporters on Facebook this is a must have. Try alerting supporters to the button either through posts that directly mention it or a cover photo that graphically points to it. According to this Facebook post however, it’s only being gradually rolled out to non-profits. Check your Facebook call-to-action options before making plans.

2. The Donate Hashtag

Charities need to be registered with GoodWorld to have the hashtag tracking technology installed. Then, any supporters posting on Facebook or tweeting to you with a “#donate” receive an automated reply thanking them and providing a registration link if they're a first time user. If supporters have already registered with GoodWorld, they receive an email allowing them a 12 hour period to opt out of the donation.

“#donate maximizes donations and compounds support for causes. When a donation is made, your network hears about it. When friends post a donation, their network hears about it. We call this the “Network Effect.” GoodWorld

They are currently only US based though they are looking to expand globally. Sign up to show your interest and they will keep you updated as they expand. UNICEF, ALS, the Red Cross and Save the Children are just a few of the charities using it. This could go either way, if it is widely adopted it could simplify donations dramatically. On the other hand, it could become so ubiquitous it turns into the equivalent of street 'chugging'. 

3. Tuesday Giving Day

Giving Tuesday is a Global Day of Giving campaign in response to Black Friday. It encourages consumers to celebrate giving and become givers instead of consumers. Started in 2012 by 92nd Street Y and in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the next one is on the 5th of December!

In the UK the Charities Aid Foundation and Blackbaud are coordinating the campaign. Giving Tuesday is a collaborative effort that helps charities partner to raise funds, providing resources and support.


Want to maximise on the idea? UK Giving Tuesday regularly holds webinars. The next is one on the 29th of September. For access to extensive resources on how to get involved and give more visit their resources page.

4. Bitcoin

Probably the most innovative solution of the bunch. Bitcoins are a global currency that exist in digital form alone, essentially “cash for the internet”. Bitcoin is still considered a little rogue by many, but the potential for really innovative giving is there. Comic Relief have already looked into this method for donations and a Homeless charity in the US, received a donation all the way from North Korea, said to be possibly the first Bitcoin transaction in this country.


Like any currency, it’s only useful if people use it, the more people the better. What make Bitcoins appealing for charities is the lack of transaction fees and ability to cut out the middleman. 100% of all donations go straight to the charity. It’s bringing the ideas of open source and democratisation to currency.  

Greenpeace, the Mozilla foundation and Wikimedia all accept Bitcoin donations using either Coinbase or Bitpay which both allow them to settle bitcoin donations into Dollars or GBP.

Do read more before jumping in…

What is Bitcoin

Donating Bitcoin to Charities is on the rise

More about BitPay

Coinbase dropping fees for charities

Technology is changing so quickly it's important to keep informed about new trends and solutions for donating. Depending on which large charities adopt them, some that appear far off initially may become mainstream overnight.

If you're interested to know more about the intricacies of what makes a good donation experience and how to stop people dropping out of the process - check out the lessons we learned when we testing donating to 5 different charities. And, if you know of any other interesting donation solutions please leave your comments below.

22 September 2015