Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Modern Ways to Help Charities

The way in which we donate money to charity has changed considerably over the last five years or so. Once, we could make donations by dropping loose change into collection boxes or perhaps by sending money by Direct Debit or by calling special dedicated phone numbers to give our card details.

Now charities are investing in evermore diverse fundraising methods, designed to make it easier and quicker for us to donate. Much of this change is down to improvements and advances in the use of technology and these will surely only ever continue to develop over time.

At the moment, we can donate in the 'old fashioned' ways mentioned above, but we can also donate by:

• opting to round up our card payments at the till in the supermarket to the nearest pound, with those extra pennies going to a nominated charity;
• using cash machines designated as donation points, with the operator giving a small donation per cash withdrawal to a nominated charity;
• through dedicated charitable fundraising websites, that work a bit like cashback sites (if you go through their site to access another site they will donate a small amount on your behalf);
• Going online and donating via our favourite charity's website, or by sending a text to an appeal number advertised on television.

Technology can also give charities a means of communicating with us to keep us informed of special events (like fundraising galas in our local area). The RSPCA has taken this a step further by using technology to not only allow us to donate to a particular project (one that we choose) but to keep us informed about how much money has been raised for that project and what the money has been used for.

The RSPCA Choices site allows us to search for particular types of charitable work that we would like to support. For instance, cat lovers might want to ensure that local cats in rescue centres are properly cared for, or wildlife enthusiasts might want to support work done to encourage or protect breeding of wild animals or birds locally or nationally. Once we have found a project that really inspires us to help (or, once we have created a unique project based on our own experiences of local animal issues) we can then create a web page to highlight the cause and publicise our fundraising efforts to support it.

That web page can be shared on social network sites and makes advertising fundraising activities a lot easier. That web page can be seen by thousands, which is a vast improvement on the perhaps dozens who might have once seen an advert in the local Post Office promoting a fundraising event.

Whether you have a fundraising idea or event that you would like to promote or just want to donate money quickly and easily, technology has certainly made it easier for you to do so. The fact that technology can also be used (as it has been, successfully, by RSPCA Choices) to inform us about exactly how our money is spent might also mean greater motivation for donors to fundraise to help those in most need.

This is a guest post.

- Posted on the go :)

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