Solving the Mobile Giving Puzzle
By sending just a couple of text messages a month, you can keep potential donors excited about your cause and primed for your big yearly ask. In a campaign run by the Humane Society, supporters who received text messages donated online with an increased response rate of 77 percent.
Mobile website donations
If you live in a city populated by smartphone fanatics, it won't surprise you that the number of people accessing the Web from their phones continues to double year over year. Depending on the configuration of your current website, it could be a relatively simple process to publish a "mobile-friendly" version. You can ask for donations using exactly the same system that you ask for money on your website — via a big, red Donate Now button. Your donors can then pay using an identical transaction process.
Check out mofuse.com for an easy way to mobilize your existing website.
If you're willing to plunge in to developing a smartphone app, you can sell it and collect the revenue. Thousands of for-profit enterprises are making billions of dollars selling apps. Nonprofits with compelling narratives and smart creative can do the same. Charge $1.99 for your application. Be sure to convey the fact that the revenue will go toward a great cause.
The top two obstacles to employing this method are:
1. Both Apple and Google charge a 30 percent commission in their respective mobile phone application marketplaces.
2. Development costs for mobile applications are high. A simple app could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000.
While these sound like formidable barriers, they're not stopping for-profit businesses from raking in cash. If you can deliver a compelling mobile experience — or even just tell a story convincing enough to galvanize sales — your nonprofit could be one of the first to capitalize on the app gold rush.