Solving the Mobile Giving Puzzle
If you're like most people working at a nonprofit, you probably had a "Holy Mobile!" moment in January 2010, when an outpouring of donations followed the devastating Haiti earthquake. This, you expected.
But what you might not have anticipated was that $41 million flowed through mobile phones via "premium text messages." The Red Cross received 4.1 million messages valued at $10 each, 95 percent of which were from first-time donors.
You breathed in … hard. Did you miss mobile? Where did all of those donors come from? Did a fantastic fundraising opportunity pass you by? How do you jump on the bandwagon?
If any of these thoughts raced through your head last January — or if any are racing now — don't worry. Mobile giving is just about five years young. There's plenty of time to put together a thoughtful mobile-fundraising strategy.
Best of all, many of the kinks have been worked out. There's never been a better time to start a mobile campaign.
As it turns out, the Red Cross used but one of several common methods to generate revenue from mobile phone owners:
- Text-message donations
- Text-to-voice donations
- Text-message warmers
- Mobile website donations
- App sales
- In-app sales
- Sponsored apps
Here's a look at how they work.
Using this simple method, your nonprofit advertises the availability of your designated fundraising phone number to potential donors. A donor sends a text message to this number indicating that he would like to donate. Voila! Your nonprofit receives a check in the mail 30 to 90 days later.
This is precisely the kind of mobile-fundraising campaign run by the Red Cross in support of Haiti. Hundreds of nonprofits in the U.S. — and around the world — are running and have run similar campaigns with great success.