- Colleges and universities could wrangle more donations by consistently using secure Web sites to accept contributions, according to two Rutgers University-Camden accounting professors.
- About 15% of the largest non-profit institutions in the U.S., including higher education institutions, use secure Web sites, which are identified by security seals — typically signified by the padlock symbol in the Web address box.
- Establishing and maintaining a security seal for a Web site costs about $1,700 per year, Campus Technology reports.
Besides the padlock symbol, a third-party security administrator typically provides its own seal, such as WebTrust or Symantec. The point of the seal is to show that data, such as credit card information, cannot be intercepted from forms submitted on that site and that the site is legitimate. The Rutgers professors have started a study to determine how much difference a security seal makes with donations, and their preliminary results show that non-profit institutions with the seals receive more donations than their peers without the seals.