Posted , by Wendy McGrady. Topic: Philanthropy Research & Events.

An article last week in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and a recent news report on PBS both indicate that a growing number of Americans are supporting charities through online giving and social media.

In the Chroncle article, the fundraising software company Convio said that online donations to its 1, 300 clients topped $1.3 billion in 2010, up 34 percent from 2009. And Convio’s clients now raise an average of 5 to 15 percent of all donations online. Network for Good, a giving portal that processes online giving to any U.S. charity, says its donations jumped 20 percent over 2009.

In a Dec. 30 interview on PBS NewsHour, Allison Fine, co-author of The Networked Nonprofit, said the use of social media as a tool for nonprofits to connect with potential donors increased 5 percent last year. Facebook was most frequently used. Fine added that giving through social media is still less than 10 percent of all giving, but it’s growing quickly.

“So,” she explained, “it is a must-do for nonprofit organizations to learn how to build relationships with future donors online,” especially the millennial generation. “As of yet, we’re not quite sure of who exactly is giving online. But there’s no question that this is the future of giving, and it’s a different kind of giving.”

Is your organization raising money through social media? If so, we welcome your insights and questions below.

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