Syria Crisis Appeal has received 55 per cent of public donations digitally

The Disasters Emergency Committee reports that its focus on encouraging online giving has so far paid off

Syrian refugees in Lebanon (Photo: Eleanor Bentall/Tearfund)
Syrian refugees in Lebanon (Photo: Eleanor Bentall/Tearfund)

More than half of the donations received from the public for the Disasters Emergency Committee's Syria Crisis Appeal have been made digitally.

The appeal was launched on 21 March and has raised £10.3m so far, including funds raised by member agencies, money from trusts and estimated Gift Aid. The DEC brings together 14 UK aid agencies, including Oxfam and Tearfund, to raise money for major international crises.   

Snapshot data compiled by the DEC suggests that public donations made directly to it accounted for more than £4m. Of the money that has been given by the public directly to the DEC, 55 per cent has been donated digitally, including 12 per cent though mobile phones or tablets.

Thirty-seven per cent of donations have been made by credit or debit card through MyDonate, BT’s charitable giving website, and 12 per cent has been given by PayPal, by mobile phone or through the DEC’s website.

A further 4 per cent has been given by SMS and 2 per cent has been given through other online platforms, including JustGiving and Virgin Money Giving.

Donations have still been made through more traditional channels, including 28 per cent by post and 16 per cent by telephone.

There has also been more traffic on the DEC’s website from mobile devices. For the 2011 East Africa Crisis Appeal, 7.6 per cent of traffic came from mobile, and this has jumped to 27.8 per cent during the Syria appeal.

About 40 per cent of donations in recent appeals were made by credit or debit card over the internet, a spokesman for the charity said. He said the DEC had promoted SMS giving and giving via PayPal much more widely for the Syria appeal than it had ever done before.

"For example, we put a button on our home page inviting people to donate through PayPal," he said. "These have probably been the biggest factors in getting more people to give digitally."

He added that those giving digitally were likely to be a mixture of people who would normally give through other channels and new donors who were giving for the first time, because they could do so online. 

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