Talking Mobile Fundraising With UR Mobile's Luke Lightfoot
The mobile channel has been a hot-button issue in the fundraising sector for the past few years. The power of mobile fundraising was displayed in 2010 when the American Red Cross raised more than $32 million via mobile giving for its "Text Haiti" campaign. However, the sector has struggled to harness that mobile success across the board, particularly organizations that do not have missions involving disaster relief.
Still, more and more organizations have incorporated the mobile channel into their fundraising and communications strategies, and the channel certainly doesn't seem to be going anywhere, with everyone and their mothers carrying around their cell- or smartphones 24/7.
FundRaising Success: How many charities are you seeing actually raising significant amounts of money via mobile?
Luke Lightfoot: About 60 percent of the nonprofits who use our platform are raising significant amounts. We've found that nonprofits who incorporate a mobile-first strategy greatly increase their success rates for mobile fundraising.
FS: How does the growth in mobile donations mirror mobile use in the retail world?
LL: Google is projecting that by 2016, about 80 percent of all Internet users will access the Web using a mobile phone. The rising wave of mobile Internet usage will undoubtedly have a huge impact on every type of organization. Today, it is clear that businesses need to have a mobile strategy to stay viable. Nonprofits are in that boat too.
FS: What percentage of donations do fundraisers expect to receive via mobile?
LL: Overall, the initial adoption of mobile giving is significantly outpacing that of online giving. One year after online giving became an option, $300,000 was raised through that channel. The third year of online giving saw that number increase to $10 million. If you look at mobile giving, $500,000 was donated through the mobile channel in the first year. By its third year, that number hit $40 million.