A survey of 1,200 online donors has revealed that one in three would not have donated money to charity at all if they had been unable to do so on the internet.
The research, by Justgiving, surveyed 1,200 people who visited the website www.justgiving.com in order to donate to a friend's online fundraising page between 16 June and 1 July.
All respondents to the survey had been asked by a friend to donate, and 41.5 per cent admitted they had not previously heard of the charity they gave money to.
Almost a third said they would simply not bother if asked to donate using cash or cheque.
James Grieve, marketing manager at Justgiving, said the survey demonstrated that charities that enable their supporters to donate and raise funds online are attracting more donations than those that do not.
He also said it proved the power of online peer-to-peer fundraising.
Grieve added: "Charities that are embracing the internet and offering supporters the chance to donate quickly, easily and tax-efficiently online are reaping the rewards."
Of the 1,209 people who were surveyed, 49.9 per cent were aged between 31 and 50. Just over a quarter were under 30, and 22.7 per cent were over 50.