Association for Community Relations

Empowering Local NGOs with the Help of Online Donations

The Association for Community Relations (ARC) works towards encouraging individual donations for empowering charitable initiatives in local communities.

One of its most important projects is an online platform that enables people to donate via SMS or by direct debit. Even though an online donation tool for charities is something rather new in Romania and people are not very familiar with it, the first reactions are encouraging. With the website that ARC created for accepting donations — — it has managed to raise almost US$900,000 for nonprofit causes.

"The local organizations have started using these mechanisms, which demonstrates that fundraising is not the big organizations' privilege," says Catalin Gheorghe, communications director of ARC.

With 15 employees in two different cities in Romania, ARC considers online communication an important asset for keeping up with the flow of work, developing donation platforms, or communicating with their beneficiaries.

"The real world's achievements would not be possible without the virtual world's communication and instruments," says Gheorghe.

Access to donated technology from Adobe with the help of TechSoup Romania has helped the organization design informative materials without the need for outside help. "The software helps us save money on two levels: we save money for our IT budget, and we do not pay for extra design services," says Gheorghe.

The right technology at the right moment enables the organization to be fast and flexible.