Charity and Technology: How Tech Is Changing Philanthropy


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Charity and Technology

As it has with the business world, technology is changing the world of philanthropy. With mobile apps, high-speed Internet and the rise of crowdfunding, it’s never been easier to learn about causes you care about and give money to help make a difference. Let’s look at how computer scientists are helping changing the world.

We Love Technology

3 in 4

Americans who own a computer (1)

This number was just 8.2% in 1984. (1)

9 in 10

Adult Americans who own a cell phone (2)

More information is added to the Internet in one week than was available to the general populace from prehistoric times to the 19th century. (3)

We Love Giving

95.4% of U.S. households give to charity. (4)


Average amount given by individuals in 2011 (5)

The Ease of Giving

Gone are the days of mailing a check to your favorite charity only after they send you something in the mail. Technology has not only made giving to charitable causes more convenient, but it’s also made connecting over issues easier.


Percentage of Americans who learn about charitable causes through TV (6)


Percentage of Americans who learn about them through social media or elsewhere online

1 in 5

American adults who’ve made a charitable contribution online (2)

Nearly 1 in 10

Americans who’ve made a charity contribution via text message (2)

$43 million

Money donated through mobile technology for relief in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake (2)

$5 billion

Estimated total raised through crowdfunding in 2013 (7)


Crowdfunding websites based around the donation/philanthropy/sponsorship model (8)

Using Technology to Save Lives

Thanks to the developers of life-saving mobile apps and donation websites, millions of people have received disaster relief funds and information.

2.5 million

Number of times American Red Cross apps for first aid and natural disaster information have been downloaded (9)

37 million

Number of hungry, impoverished Americans served by Feeding America, made easier by mobile apps that track food picked up and delivered (10)