Case Studies: Mobile Fundraising and Advocacy Successes

With the adoption of smartphone and cell phone use growing exponentially every year, the question facing fundraisers is clear: Can mobile phones help us reach out and get donors engaged?

The answer for World Childhood Foundation (WCF) was yes. “Mobile marketing was a way we determined [we] could engage new supporters and donors,” said Charlotte Brandin, executive director of World Childhood Foundation USA, during her session, “World Childhood Foundation USA: Managing Donations From SMS and a Mobile Website,” at the 2011 Nonprofit Mobile Day in Washington, D.C., last month.

Bradin and Fredrik Oscarson, CEO of Mobiento — the mobile ad agency that works with WCF on its mobile initiatives — shared ways WCF and other organizations have used mobile fundraising and advocacy to engage both longtime and new donors.

WCF had two main objectives in embarking on its mobile mission: to get donations from the current donor pool (baby boomers and the 65-and-up generations), and to engage a younger generation to build relationships. The goal with the first group was to get donations, and for the second group, it was more about building that relationship through interactivity and personal connections to become donors in the future.

“Raising awareness and funds is a two-way street,” Brandin said. “… It’s important to engage with a purpose. So we needed to formulate a strategy to build engagement and long-term relationships.”

That’s where Mobiento came in. WCF looked to the mobile ad agency to see how mobile fundraising and advocacy efforts could be successfully implemented.

“Don’t just see mobile as a payment mechanism, because it’s so much more than that,” Oscarson said. “Use the mobile channel to create engagement, interactivity … and as a personal device to develop relationships.”

Oscarson then shared some of the same case studies he showed WCF to display the power of mobile fundraising and advocacy.

‘A Working Week in Africa’

The first mobile campaign Oscarson shared was Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) Working Week campaign, which won the Mobile Marketing Association’s 2007 Best Use of Mobile Marketing, Promotion Award.

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