People typically give to charities during the holiday season, but increasingly, they're doing it online. During the last two months of 2013, online donations increased by 16 percent from the same two-month period a year ago, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Network for Good, a nonprofit that processes gifts made electronically.
Donations handled by Network for Good rose by 6 percent on a single day -- Dec. 3, or Giving Tuesday, a national day promoting charity.
Overall, from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, online donations totaled $77.9 million, up from $67.1 million during the last two months of 2012. The average gift was $172, a 10 percent increase from the same time a year earlier.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy analyzed daily giving processed through Network for Good for more than 14,000 charities for November and December and compared the results to the previous two years.
While it's difficult to argue with the ease of giving online, it's also easy to make rash decisions without investigating a potential charity. Scams are rampant and donors would be well-advised to use the Internet to their advantage by doing a quick search on sites such as Charity Navigator and Guidestar to be sure the cause is legitimate.
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