The Cost of Online Giving

Donating to a charity online may be costlier than you think.

While online donations account for only 7.6% of total charitable giving, according to Blackbaud’s 2010 Online Giving Report, it is the fastest-growing segment, increasing 40% in 2010 from the year before, according to a report from fund-raising software provider Convio.

That has helped juice the growth of online “giving platforms” with names like CauseVox, Razoo, Network for Good and GlobalGiving. These websites — some nonprofit and some for-profit — serve as gateways, making it easier for donors to give money and offering additional services such as website design and campaign promotion.

But those extras come with a price.

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