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Nonprofits Get on the Internet

Nonprofit organizations are quickly moving to the Web to increase awareness and fundraising efforts, according to a study by Gifts In Kind International, which manages corporate donations of products to charities.

Two-thirds of nonprofits surveyed have a Web site, Gifts in Kind reported, and 62 percent of those without a site plan to have one in the next 12 months. In total, 86 percent of all nonprofits that responded have a Web site or plan to have one within 12 months.

Nonprofits use the Web most often to provide information about the organization, research funding sources, and conduct research related to program development and program management. Their most commonly planned applications are fundraising and interactively communicating with target audiences through e-mail. Nineteen percent of nonprofits currently use the Web for fundraising; fifty-five percent plan to do so.

One big change from last year's study was the response to the question, “What donated supplemental services would be most useful to your agency?” An enhanced Web site moved from eighth in 1999, when 18 percent gave this response, to second this year with 40 percent.

Now in its fourth year, the Gifts In Kind International study examines the state of technology in the not-for-profit sector.

Gifts in Kind sent questionnaires to 1,000 organizations with budgets of more than $50 million, 50 grant-making associations for distribution to their grantees and grant applicants, 142 national nonprofit organizations for distribution to their affiliates, and 560 nonprofits that completed the 1999 survey. The survey also was posted on the Web sites of Gifts In Kind International and United Way of America.

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