15 Mobile Fundraising and Mobile Marketing Takeaways
The first mobile fundraising campaign of note was the United Way's text-to-give campaign aired as a commercial during the Super Bowl in response to the 2007 tsunami in Asia. That commercial spot "raised about $10,000 in 10 seconds" via text, said Jenifer Snyder, executive director of the mGive Foundation, at the 2011 Nonprofit Mobile Day held in Washington, D.C. Ever since, fundraisers have been enamored with the potential of the mobile channel, even more so after the response to the Haiti relief efforts.
During her session — "Mobile Giving or Mobile Marketing — or Both?" — Snyder and co-presenters Doug Stovall, senior vice president of sales and client services at Hipcricket; Christian Zimmern, vice president at the Mobile Giving Foundation; and moderator John Styers, vice president of corporate strategy and industry relations at 3Cinteractive, had a rapid-fire discussion about mobile giving and mobile marketing. Here are some key takeaways from that discussion.
- "The expectations are high from Haiti, but hardly anyone can replicate that. Someone said nine out of 10 times that won't happen. No, it's more like 999 times out of 1,000 that won't happen."
- "How do we get a donation on someone's phone, and how do you market that to your constituency? How can we drive donations to mobile? What we see is, from a fundraising perspective, the results are fairly small. Key to successes for mobile giving has been the ease of use. Ten years ago there were hardly any SMS. Now it's huge, and it will not go away anytime soon as a marketing tool. SMS will be here for a long time. It's here to stay. How do we integrate the new technologies to interact with SMS?"
- "The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund filmed a PSA and put a call to action driving people to the website as well as a mobile promotion. It did not see any decline with online giving with the mobile call to action, which is one of the barriers you often hear. Mobile giving does not jeopardize other forms of giving because it's a different type of donor action. Some people gave $1,000 online and $10 via text."
- "More and more organizations utilize podcasts and radio/TV for mobile campaigns. That's one of the most effective ways when it comes to fundraising. Then you have to cultivate them via marketing."
- "Do not scare them away once they donate. If you send them five text messages a day, they'll leave."