Nowadays, any data is valuable. Cybercrime has become a severe threat to all companies, and Nonprofit Organizations (NPOs) aren’t an exception. You might not realize it, but charities collect, store, and exchange a significant amount of sensitive information.
According to Reuters, attackers spoofed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) domain in 2020. They sent fake charity emails to thousands of people, asking for donations to fight against Covid19.
Though the organization detected the attack before it did much damage, this wasn’t an isolated case. So, it’s more important than ever for nonprofits to secure their email channels.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) is an email security protocol that protects a domain by validating emails from legit sources. It blocks and reports unauthorized ones.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at why is DMARC important for nonprofit organizations and understand its benefits for all the involved parties.
Benefits for NPOs
First of all, DMARC’s benefits impact the nonprofit itself. This section discusses how it helps nonprofits stay trustworthy, improve email deliverability, and increase the visibility of cyberattack risk.
Firstly, donors give with their hearts before opening their wallets. Nonprofit organizations are well aware of this principle. That’s why they work so hard to maintain a strong connection with their donors. Building and sustaining solid relationships is the number one priority.
Trust is the most crucial yet most fragile aspect of any partnership. If a phishing scam is disclosed, donors might be unwilling to support the organization. Furthermore, they will be less inclined to open emails from an NPO that suffered a recent attack.
They might even unsubscribe from the newsletter and sever ties with the organization. So NPOs that deploy DMARC ensure the trustworthiness of their email communications.
The latest email systems have powerful spam filters. DMARC implementation aids organizations in improving their email authentication by allocating legitimate emails to the primary inbox.
It’s no joy seeing email campaigns crafted for the cause and then getting lost in the spam folder. By deploying DMARC, an organization ensures that its emails go straight to the recipient’s inbox.
Visibility Into Cyberattack Risk
DMARC enhances the defense of an organization’s domain against illegal use and adds greater transparency into cyber risk. With DMARC, domain owners can take more control of their NPO’s communications—internally and beyond.
Most organizations give authorized third parties permission to send emails while blocking unauthorized sources. DMARC Reports allow NPOs to keep track of legitimate ones, allowing them to send emails on their behalf.
Benefits for Donors
NPOs aren’t isolated entities. They survive due to their donors. In this section we go over the two main reasons why is DMARC important for nonprofit organizations from the point of view of their supporters. First of all, it helps protect sensitive personal details. Secondly, donors can be sure that they’re sending money to the organization and not some opportunistic impostor.
Protection of Personal Information
Nonprofits count on donations and gather private information such as names, addresses, contact information, and even financial details of current and potential donors. This information is a goldmine for cybercriminals because it is often not adequately protected.
In addition to data leaks from an organization, phishing, spoofing, and other email-based scams can lead donors into revealing personal details to cybercriminals.
Ransomware is also on the rise. At first, hackers gain access to stored data, encrypt it, and then demand a ransom for its release. Even if the payoff amount is relatively low and you agree to pay it, there’s no assurance that additional demands won’t follow.
Plus, you can’t be confident about the state of the returned data. It might still be damaged or sold to identity thieves before you get it back.
Donation Loss Prevention
Imagine the following scenario: a malicious actor creates a fake email address that impersonates a nonprofit organization with a good reputation. After that, the cybercriminal sends out a large number of phishing emails asking people to donate.
Many recipients decide to contribute to the call as they trust that organization. Donations meant to cover one’s tuition fee, the costs of kidney transplantation, or to improve the environment are instead pocketed by a criminal.
DMARC enhances reassurance that the aid will reach the people in need and serve its intended purpose.
Benefits for Charity Recipients
Charitable organizations do some of the noblest work on the planet. Still, they’re often a common target for cybercriminals. According to The Cyber Security Breaches Survey, in the U.K., just over a quarter (26%) of charities had experienced a cyberattack in the previous year.
NPOs lose a large number of donations due to such attacks. Besides a potentially harmed reputation, an NPO ends up with less money available for its cause.
By implementing DMARC, NPOs ensure that no cybercriminal can steal the money intended for their beneficiaries.
Nonprofit organizations rely almost entirely on private, voluntary donations from generous people who want to support others.
Email is an essential means of reaching out to donors, partners, and supporters. It’s one of the crucial paths to raising more money for an NPO’s cause. Simultaneously, it’s a channel through which cybercriminals can take advantage of all the parties involved—including donors and beneficiaries.
So, Why is DMARC important for nonprofit organizations? DMARC improves email deliverability for NPOs, protects donors’ personal information, and prevents donation loss. All the mentioned aspects strengthen the NPO-donor relationship while enhancing the beneficiaries’ chances of receiving more help.
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