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Understanding online donor behavior: the role of donor characteristics, perceptions of the internet, website and program, and influence from social networks


Micheal L. Shier, School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania, 3701 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6214 USA.



  • Online donation platforms, albeit a recent phenomenon, are becoming more important for human service nonprofits, allowing them to reach a broader target population of donors at relatively little cost. In developing countries such as India, internet use is flourishing, and this has allowed fund-raisers to reach a population hitherto difficult to reach. A cross-sectional research design was utilized to survey donors of one online donation program in India (n = 479). This research was exploratory, investigating the factors that influence people's willingness to donate online, including the socio-demographic characteristics of donors. Results show that gender, perception of the organization, and influence from others are variables that influence the likelihood of donating online. Further research and implications for human service nonprofits seeking to undertake online charitable campaigns are discussed.

Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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