A 2015 Nielsen Global Sustainability Report found that 43% of consumers say that a company’s commitment to social value “very heavily” or “heavily” influenced their purchase decisions. Doing good quietly doesn’t help the cause because social impact needs both financial and marketing support. A few NGOs and charitable organizations shared that they prefer a large franchise of small donors than a few large ones. It insulates them from the risk of changing priorities of the corporates when the executives at the top move on. However, reaching out to a larger audience and getting them to contribute used to be a very expensive task.
The proliferation of social media and smartphone penetration has definitely helped causes gain a lot of visibility. However, the transformation was driven by the acceleration in digital payments. For emerging markets and developing economies, digital payments have opened up a plethora of opportunities both for charitable organizations and businesses.
Social purpose has evolved from a narrow philanthropic perspective to a core business strategy. The fusion of technology, changing consumer habits and the evolution of low-cost digital payments, have enabled businesses to weave social causes and charitable giving into their daily business transactions. Micro-donations, every time you order your food, get groceries delivered or shop online, are helping businesses build a shared sense of purpose beyond just a business transaction.
New Age Digital Payments Make Giving Affordable and Easily Accessible
Today, everything is possible with a simple click rather than giving cheques or cash. The current payment system is changing rapidly led by low-cost real-time digital transactions. Charitable / Non Profit organizations are able to affordably accept donations of any size, easily through UPI Apps. They are able to embed their QR or UPI IDs in their social media posts. Smaller informal groups are able to raise funds for immediate requirements such as hospitalization or rescue of a street animal. Special events organized by leading television channels were able to raise funds by giving viewers an option to scan a QR from the TV screen. Several fintech apps have well-known charitable organizations listed on the platform itself.
The pandemic brought about an enormous transformation. According to the PayU Insights Report, Online donations to charitable causes reached an all-time high in lockdown 2.0. The report says, Digital payments for charitable causes witnessed a massive 731% increase in the number of transactions, a 2308% increase in expenditure, and a 128% increase in average ticket size vis a vis pre-lockdown months in 2021. Compared to lockdown 1.0, the number of transactions and expenditure increased by 575% and 476% in lockdown 2.0. As the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, numerous donation campaigns were organized by NGOs and crowdsourcing platforms to raise funds for COVID relief.
There is an increasing awareness about giving back to society amongst the people today, be it physically supporting by volunteering for various causes related to animal welfare, health, education, water & sanitation, skills & livelihood of many people, or monetary support enabled supporting through digital payment apps. Financial transparency is one factor and convenience is another with going digital. Be it a virtual fundraiser event or a donation drive, various apps can support the online process, allowing the customers to contribute and care for the cause, quite seamlessly.
According to a report by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a non-profit organization working to make giving more effective, up to 85% of Indians surveyed across cities participated in some charitable activities related to the pandemic. This report follows an all-time rise in India’s ranking on CAF’s World Giving Index 2021–it increased from a 10-year average of 82 to 14 in 2020.
Embedding Causes in Daily Transactions
Digital payment apps and online commerce platforms can be used to co-create social responsibility initiatives, making digital donations or digital fundraising a part of their customers’ transaction experience. The leading payment and online commerce apps are more popular due to their ease and reliability, which can strengthen such initiatives, as a response to which, the customers can donate with utmost trust.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Rama has about 21 years of professional experience across diverse industries such as retail, telecom, banking, cards and online grocery retail. Rama has held leadership positions with revenue responsibilities at Hutchison Telecom, Reliance Retail, Unilever, HDFC Bank and Tata Capital. Prior to this entrepreneurial stint, Rama was the head of Products and Innovation for Visa India and South Asia.
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The CSR Journal Team