Web site spurs giving

Networkforgood generates $32 million in online donations.

[01.26.04] — Philanthropy web portal Network for Good generated more than $32 million in online giving in the two years since it was launched, its president says.

After handling $2.1 million from its launch in mid-November 2001 through December of that year, the portal raised $16.9 million in 2002 and expected to raise $17 million in 2003, said President Ken Weber.

Through Oct. 1, 2003, he said, the portal handled 67,000 gifts from 56,000 unique donors making donations to more than 11,000 nonprofits, with the average gift totaling $150.

Those totals reflect “significant growth” among smaller donors, Weber said.

That growth is particularly important, he said, because the portal is less focused on larger donors who tend to make their gifts more efficiently through traditional means such as check-writing.

To help cover processing costs, Network for Good on Aug. 1 instituted a 3 percent fee that generated $56,349 through October.

Much of the growth in the use of the site has been driven by nonprofits that add a Network for Good “Donate Now” button on their own sites, Weber said.

In the first nine months of 2003, he said, Network for Good also  matched 49,000 volunteers with specific volunteer opportunities through its own site and another it created and maintains for the USA FreedomCorps Volunteer Network.

Network for Good also opted in August to pay $2.9 million owed to its donors by San Francisco-based PipeVine, a bankrupt nonprofit, created by United Way of the Bay Area, that processed donations for it and for Network for Good, United Way of King County and more than a dozen corporations, mainly in the Bay Area.

“We decided to pay that money out ahead of recovering any of it,” Weber said.

The California attorney general and a receiver he appointed are investigating the demise of PipeVine.

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