by guest blogger, Jeff Achen of GiveMN.org
More dismal economic news follows a recent Washington Post article about the drop in individual giving in the nonprofit world. The Washington Post reports that “people are giving less frequently and in smaller amounts of money to charities than in the past, according to a survey of executives at 6,800 nonprofits nationally by GuideStar USA, an organization that tracks finances of nonprofit groups.”
Nevertheless, we’re excited and optimistic here at GiveMN.org. Our mission is to provide Minnesotans with one-stop charitable giving through an “online giving marketplace,” provide local giving content, with a national reach (did you know you can donate to any registered nonprofit across the US using GiveMN? Simply click the dropdown box on the search page and select “all states”), and use cutting-edge technology to provide personalized experiences where donors and nonprofits can interact.
We know that when you’re giving to a cause, you want a more intimate connection to the impact your dollars are having. You can learn more about those you're considering supporting by clicking to see the Charities Review Council's review reports right from the profiles of nonprofits who have participated in the Accountability Wizard review process.
All of this is in addition to the cost savings we know online giving is providing to nonprofits AND the environmental benefits of moving from paper to digital fundraising efforts. We know that traditional fundraising is 3x times more expensive than online fundraising on GiveMN. And now, we’ve secured a competitive, low transaction fee that will take effect after our funding partners’ subsidy of transaction fees ends Sept. 30, 2010. Thanks to a partnership between US Bank, based here in Minnesota, and GiveMN’s technology partners Razoo.com, we’re able to cut the costs of processing online donations down to 2.9 percent. Sure, it’s not zero. And though our funders have been quietly covering all fees to the tune of more than $855,000, it’s been nice to know 100 percent of our donations have been going straight to nonprofits. The good news is that at 2.9 percent GiveMN is offering the most bang for the buck, especially when you look at the innovative tools on our site. (Thank you Razoo!) To get this low rate, US Bank is waiving select fees associated with processing credit cards. This low rate is better than most other online giving sites, many of which charge nonprofit organizations fees on average of 5 to 7 percent of dollars donated.
All of this is to say that we’re working hard to ensure more giving takes place and nonprofits continue to make a difference in our state.
Either way, we are excited to be at the forefront of a trend in increased online giving nationally with a platform we feel is truly “owned” by all Minnesota nonprofits. We’re also honored to be recognized by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and MAP for Nonprofits “Nonprofit Mission and Excellence Award for Innovation.” And, we hope our success is the success of all Minnesota nonprofits. Our platform is the nonprofit community’s platform. The innovation we’re doing here is being watched carefully from national players. I hope we can show them something they’ve never seen this November.
About Jeff Achen
@givemn and administers GiveMN’s Facebook page. He loves it when people follow GiveMN on Twitter and Facebook.