Are you online or old school?

Research | October 25, 2011

When millions upon millions is spent on the web every day, it’s hard to believe that people are still reluctant to make a charitable donation online. But many people are; they prefer the ol’ chequebook instead.

How is it that a piece of paper that anyone can intercept at anytime is deemed safer than a transaction that is guarded by layers of online security? Cheque-writers even seem to prefer filling in a form at a charity event with their credit card number, or faxing the same to an office. Both instances are far less secure than the majority of e-commerce sites.

Sure, not all sites are entirely rigorous with their security. You have to pay attention. Look for security certificates, like the digicert one Chimp has. Phishing schemes and other scams happen, but they can usually be avoided with a little common sense and due diligence.

Not surprisingly, the weariness often comes from older donors. Younger generations, who’ve grown up with computers, are more comfortable donating online. Redshift Research in the UK had some encouraging stats when they spoke to 1,000 people ages 18 to 24.

  • 20 percent said they donated more as a result of new technology.
  • 54 percent said the ability to send text message donations or give online encouraged them to give spontaneously.
  • 30 percent said if there was no option to donate digitally, they wouldn’t donate at all.


We dare you to find an 18-year-old who even owns a chequebook. Eighteen-year-olds, however, are not the ones with the disposable income that charities need to attract. So how do we make the older donors (i.e. the cheque-writers) feel comfortable and secure enough to donate online?


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