Nearly two-thirds of donors worldwide prefer to make charitable contributions online, and social media can be a big motivator, especially for younger donors, according to new research sponsored by the Public Interest Registry and Nonprofit Tech for Good.

Ninety percent of nongovernmental organizations, always on the lookout to engage their followers and attract new ones, maintain a website, and 70% use a dot-org domain.

The new study is based on an online survey of 2,780 NGOs worldwide, conducted in September and October. It also incorporates insights from 355 donors around the world who were asked about their giving preferences; of these, 28% were millennials, 37% Gen Xers and 29% baby boomers.

Sixty-two percent of donors surveyed said they preferred to give online. Twenty-three percent gave through direct mail, and 6% through a mobile app or via text. Nine percent used various other methods.

Researchers found that social media most often inspired 27% of donors worldwide to give. Another 23% said they were prompted to do so by email, 14% by an NGO’s website and 12% by print materials.

Others cited face-to-face contact, workplace giving, fundraising events and telemarketing as prompts to give.

Nearly three-quarters of millennials reported that they gave online, and said they were most often motivated to do so by social media; only 15% said they responded to direct mail. Their chief areas of interest were children and youth, women and girls, human and civil rights, education and animals.

Two-thirds of Gen Xers preferred to give online, mainly in response to email pitches, and 18% responded to direct mail. The main causes they supported were education, children and youth, human services, animals and the environment.

Slightly more than half of boomers said they gave online, again mainly prompted by email. Thirty-thee percent said they responded to direct mail. Their top causes were human services, education, children and youth, health and safety, and arts and culture.

For their part, 78% of NGOs agreed that social media was effective for online fundraising.

Ninety-five percent of organizations said they had a Facebook page, 83% had a Twitter profile and 40% had an Instagram profile.

Half of respondents used LinkedIn and YouTube, and a third had a Google+ account.

Seventy-five percent of NGOs said they accepted online donations, with 82% of donors using credit cards, 52% PayPal and 47% direct debit.

To stay in contact with donors and supporters, three-fourths said they regularly sent email updates, and nearly half said they maintained their own blog.

Although most NGO respondents reported that they maintained a social media presence, only 11% said they employed a full- or part-time social media manager, and 15% relied solely on volunteers.

— Check out Few Charity Donors Look Beyond Cash Gifts: Fidelity Charitable on ThinkAdvisor.