Keeping the focus on the children

With mobile-friendly donation tools, Save the Children helps more children globally.

The leadership at Save the Children is on the lookout for tools and technology that help the organization meet its mission – ensuring all children have the future they deserve. The organization launched an innovation strategy in 2016 designed to meet the global organization’s ambitious goals for improving children’s health, education, and safety – with the nonprofit’s employees charged with bringing fresh ideas to every part of the organization.

“To reach our goals for children, we need to think and act differently in all areas of our work,” says Ettore Rossetti, senior advisor for digital innovation and social strategy for Save the Children. “We asked our colleagues to embrace innovation in their everyday work, challenging the status quo to make the work they do for children go farther.”

In 2017, Save the Children helped more than 155 million children in the United States and 120 other countries around the world.

Adding popular new donation options

One of the innovation goals was to completely reinvent the Save the Children website to offer a better user experience. “We needed to give the site a more modern look and feel,” Rossetti says. That included adding modern payment tools so people could donate quickly and easily – especially younger donors who pay with their mobile devices. Save the Children has used PayPal to process online payments and donations since 2008. As part of the complete site redesign, the nonprofit integrated PayPal with the website’s new Blackbaud Luminate fundraising platform. The new integration has added PayPal as a payment option on all of the site’s donation forms, including recurring gifts and the "Sponsor a Child" pages.

The Save the Children site also integrated Braintree, which helps the nonprofit easily add new payment methods as they come to the market. “We can’t predict change, but one thing certain is that change will happen,” Rossetti says. “We don’t have an abundance of resources to keep up with rapid changes in payment technology. Integrating Braintree gives us the ability to future-proof our website when adding more payment methods and types.”

Attracting Millennial donors.

As part of the nonprofit’s goal of adopting new and popular payment types – and adding payment tools that appeal to younger donors – Save the Children added Venmo as a payment option on its mobile donation pages. “Since Millennial donors are already using Venmo frequently, it’s a natural transition,” Rossetti says. “By deploying PayPal, Venmo, and Braintree integrations on our new website, we’ve made our donor experience mobile friendly and mobile-first.”

There’s also a natural tie-in between Venmo and social media outreach, he adds. The nonprofit frequently promotes the Venmo payment option on its social media channels, where Millennials can share fundraising appeals from Save the Children and encourage their peers to donate. “In a socially connected world, the best way to reach a younger generation of donors is through other people,” Rossetti says. “We’re proud to be the world’s first nonprofit to officially accept Venmo for donations.”

The nonprofit continues to use PayPal Here, as it’s done for years, to accept payments at small fundraisers, as well as at its largest yearly fundraising event: the Illumination Gala. “The PayPal Here card readers are easy for our staff and volunteers to operate, which increases their practicality,” Rossetti says. “The payment process is quick and easy for the donor. That helps us to maximize participation in onsite fundraising.”

Gaining more time to spend on the mission

In addition to offering more payment options, the Save the Children team has gained more insight into donors themselves. “PayPal allows us to collect contact information from donors,” Rossetti explains, which helps Save the Children continue outreach to its supporters. Braintree also provides daily status reports on overall payments processed, keeping the nonprofit up to date on donations.

“Our core competency is saving children,” Rossetti says. “The less time and effort we can spend on keeping up with payment technology, the more time we can spend on serving our purpose – to give kids in the United States and around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm every day.” As the organization says of its mission, “Save the Children does whatever it takes – every day and in times of crisis – transforming children’s lives and the future we share.”

About PayPal for Nonprofits.

More than 600,000 charities, nonprofits, schools, political campaigns, and crowdfunders around the world trust PayPal to help them fundraise billions of dollars every year. PayPal can help your nonprofit with in-person and online fundraising – through the PayPal Donate Button and solutions for mobile donations, event fundraising, and more. PayPal offers special discounts for charities and universities.

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