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Google Wallet Ushers in a New Era in Online and Mobile Fundraising for Nonprofits

October 19, 2012

On August 1, Google quietly launched Google Wallet for the Web – and the technology has the possibility of transforming online and mobile fundraising as we’ know it. Described simply, donors can sign up for a Google Wallet account, enter and save their credit card information, and then donate to any nonprofit (or purchase from any online store) that has a Google Wallet merchant account with only two clicks of a mouse (or two taps on a tablet). Your contact and financial information is stored in the cloud and your donation history is easily accessible in your Google Wallet account. What makes this even more interesting is that if you have an Android mobile device, you can then take your mobile wallet with you on your smartphone for point-of-sale transactions that occur offline. Also, nonprofits that have been wise to mobilize their Web content and build their mobile lists could text links to Google Wallet donation pages. Think about that for a minute. 🙂

Until the launch of mobile wallets, the technology behind online fundraising hadn’t changed much in its short 15-year history. To donate, you enter your name and contact and credit card information and then click the “Donate Now” button to process your donation with an email receipt arriving within a few minutes. If you want to donate to multiple nonprofits or the same nonprofit more than once, then you have to repeat the process with each donation. Not anymore. Google Wallet can be implemented Web-wide and your online donation and shopping history would be accessible anywhere at any time.

Now, there are numerous mobile wallets out there (Square, Visa, Isis, etc.), but Google Wallet does appear to be the first one to empower nonprofits to fundraise online. In the future, my guess is that when donating or shopping online we will be able to choose which wallet service we want to use with one-click – similar to how we now choose which credit card we want to use when donating or shopping online.

I’ll be covering mobile wallets in detail in my upcoming mobile communications and mobile fundraising webinar on January 15, but make no mistake and become familiar with this new technology now. This is the beginning of a new era in online and mobile fundraising (and e-commerce) that will have a big impact in 2013. That said, on this #FundraisingFriday when I was searching for a nonprofit to donate to that educates girls in Afghanistan in honor of Malala Yousafzai, I was thrilled to come across Barakat – a nonprofit that runs two schools for girls in Afghanistan and is pioneering the use of Google Wallet for online fundraising:

1. Enter donation amount and select the Google Wallet “Donate” Button:

2. Login to your Google/Google+/Gmail Account:

3. Create a Google Wallet Account and enter your credit card information:

4. Process donation and opt-in for e-newsletters (the default setting):

5.  View your donation receipt:

6. View all donations and transaction history:

7. To donate to the same nonprofit again (or any nonprofit using Google Wallet), simply click twice:

Related Links:
Webinar: How Nonprofits Can Successfully Utilize Mobile Communications and Mobile Fundraising
Google for Nonprofits Blog: Increase Online Donations With Google Wallet
Three Ways Mobile Wallets Could Transform Fundraising

19 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2012 7:26 am

    Will this work for Canadian non-profits? We need to issue tax receipts immediately via email.

  2. October 19, 2012 8:31 am

    Thanks for the post. I’m curious about how you think this differs from PayPal, which I find a lot of smaller nonprofits have been using for quite some time (a few more specifics: PayPal has had the features to store credit card information and send receipts as had Google Checkout (which was tweaked and rebranded to be Google Wallet). I’m very interested in the changes you’re seeing, and I want to make sure I understand what you think is the “new era.”

    • October 19, 2012 9:21 am

      I can’t really explain it better than I did above, but it is different from what PayPal offers now. The donation is done in two-clicks via Google Wallet “Donate” buttons… different from Google Checkout “Donate” buttons or PayPal “Donate” buttons. PayPal goes out of its way in the invoicing and donation process to hide the credit card functionality… PayPal prefers people pay with PayPal funds thus pushing people to create PayPal accounts and even though my card is saved in my PayPal account, it has never remembered it for me. That’s a wallet functionality which PayPal has yet to launch… it will be called “PayPal Digital Wallet”. They announced it in May, but it hasn’t been launched yet… and when they do, it will be just as important as Google Wallet is for nonprofits. As I mentioned above, I think in the future donors will be choosing which wallet service they want to use instead of which credit card when donating online.

      The biggest news here though is that wallets will be Web wide… no more entering data to donate or shop online and individual’s online financial transactions will be housed all one place… a wallet statement, if you will. I can tell you this… in one day, in one transaction my entire online donating and shopping behavior has changed. Google Wallet got to me first… and from here on out (just in time for the holiday shopping season :)), Google Wallet will be how I spend money online.

  3. October 22, 2012 8:36 am

    Is anyone aware of how much donor information is passed through to the organization on the back end? Specifically, does google pass through full name, physical and email addresses?

  4. Editor permalink
    October 23, 2012 7:34 am

    Reblogged this on Social Media Marketing for Non-Profits.

  5. Igor Polakovič permalink
    October 26, 2012 2:17 am

    Im sorry but this looks much more complicated than having normal credit card donaton page like most NGOS have…


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