Last updated: August 27. 2013 1:49AM - 8 Views

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Technology has permeated all aspects of the economy, helping companies conduct business with partners, attract customers and earn revenue faster and more conveniently. Nonprofits, such as charities, universities and government entities, also have embarked on the bandwagon of electronic business practices. Philanthropic institutions of all sizes have implemented procedures to accept, process and track donations online and via mobile. Gone are the days when these institutions would only rely on cash and check donations to fill their operating coffers.

Donating online

Donating online offers several advantages, including:

* Timely processing of the fund transfer

* Effective tracking of the transaction

* Financial reporting to monitor all amounts donated during a specific period

Displaying your generosity to your favorite charity via the Internet is also the preferred option for specific occasions, such as a "food drive" or a one-time initiative to relieve populations affected by a meteorological event - say, a hurricane or snow storm. To donate online, go to your charity's website and click the "Click to donate" button. Some institutions let potential donors give through a "one click cash" system, which allows them to give money through one click. "One click cash" also allows a couple or donor group to give cash collectively.

Donating via mobile

Donating via mobile technology - that is, through your cellphone - provides the same benefits as online donation. But the key point here is that your favorite charity must have a website that is a mobile-compatible, lest your money not go through the charity's payment processing system. "Mobile-compatible" means users can quickly and efficiently browse through a website with mobile equipment, such as iPhones and Android-powered smartphones.

Mobile donation has many benefits, including:

* "One click cash" ability -- if the website is mobile-compatible

* Capacity to give cash anywhere, anytime -- even without a laptop or desktop

* Real-time, secure data tracking

Regulatory compliance

Given the rise of online and mobile donations, and the fact that donor largesse is important for philanthropic institutions, public officials have established rules and regulations to control payments via electronic devices. The government wants to make sure donors' data is protected, especially when it comes to storing credit or debit card information, personal bank accounts and PayPal credentials. Before donating money online or via mobile, contact the receiving charity and ask whether it has proper checks and balances to ascertain the integrity of donor information. Philanthropic institutions typically disclose that information on their websites, right below the "Click to donate" button.

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