Rise in number of donors
“The portal collects donations online through the ePayment gateway and then delivers them to the charitable organisations registered in the Ministry of Social Development.
Through the portal, donors can choose to donate either by cause or by charity. According to the data, the number of donors also increased from 21,738 last year to 22,536 in the first 10 months of 2018. This year, the months of May and June were the two months that received the most donations amounting to approximately OMR378,000, which in part were due to the Holy Month of Ramadan.
“The reason May and June had the highest number of donations is because of Ramadan,” said Rahima Al Musafir, head of Al Rahma Association for motherhood and childhood. “We at Al Rahma association receive the most amount of donations during Ramadan, which we then use to distribute throughout the year.”
The portal also carries out its own campaigns during the holy month. “Every Ramadan, ITA carries out a promotional campaign to encourage people to donate online through the portal through its social media accounts and some promotional activities,” said Al Dhahab.
Zakat, the principle of donating a portion of one’s income, is listed as the first cause of donation, followed by money dedicated towards charitable causes in general, known as sadaqah. Charitable organisations have also begun including information regarding the portal on their leaflets.
“We never used to write information about the portal on our brochures, but now we do; we also sent messages to nearly 10,000 donors, telling them to donate through the portal, and so I feel as though people have begun getting used to using the method,” added Al Musafiri.
Oman Charitable Organisation (OCO) received 21 per cent of all donations, followed by Dar Al Atta’a, and Al Rahma Assocation. OCO is also the only authority that accepts donations that are sent abroad. According to the data, OMR36,921 was donated towards causes in Yemen, while they also received donations for Syria, Palestine, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Tajikistan.
ITA is always looking for innovative ways to make donating easier, said Al Dhahab. “As an alternative to visiting the portal online, donors now have the option to donate via the mobile app, which is easily downloadable from Android’s Play store or the Apple App store,” Al Dhahab said.