donasity - a look back on the history of online fundraising

A Look Back on the Rise of Online Fundraising

Billions of dollars are given through online sources annually. Online donation totals increased 14% from 2010 to 2011, even though many non-profit organizations saw their total fundraising levels decrease for the same timeframe.

Many donors, especially the younger ones, now only give through online sources. Any organization or individual raising funds simply cannot afford to not accept online donations. This includes large non-profits, even though online giving currently accounts for less than 5% of the annual donations received by large non-profits. In order to fully understand the current landscape of fundraising, it helps to take a brief look back at the rise of online fundraising.

Social Media

Social media has ushered in a new world of online fundraising. Through social media, anyone raising funds is able to offer updates and behind the scenes insights to interested individuals in real time. By pairing social media updates with solicitations, fundraisers remind donors how their money is being spent. In addition to providing updates for present donors, social media allows organizations to identify potential donors based on their online advocacy activity. But social media does much more than provide a way for fundraising groups to share information.

Social media has changed the landscape of fundraising entirely. The intensely popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge highlighted the enormous potential of social media. Most fundraising will never see anywhere near the ice bucket challenge’s level of success. That particular campaign was so popular in part because it was entertaining to watch, which allowed people to demonstrate support with minimal investment, and the call to action at the end of each video was personalized. The ice bucket challenge demonstrated the enormous potential of social media for fundraising. It is this potential that the next wave of online fundraising, crowdfunding, is able to harness.


The practice of seeking small donations from many different people is known as crowdfunding, sometimes with the option of being rewarded with products, benefits, or perks associated with the final product. While this type of fundraising is not exclusive to online campaigns, social media makes it easy to cast a wide net with minimal resources. Crowdfunding websites allow any person or organization with a fundraising need to create a campaign and share it with their online networks and communities.

At donasity, we don’t consider ourselves a “crowdfunding website” by traditional definitions. Our name is the combination of the words “donation” and “generosity” – this is to always remind us that our goal is to connect the right donors with the right causes and help our communities, schools, and those in need.

When it comes to online fundraising, donasity is “The Smartest Way to Give.” Our secure fundraising platform allows individuals and non-profit organizations to raise money without needing to invest in new software or paying unnecessary fees. Have questions about donasity? Check out our FAQ page or contact us today.