Why Mobile Matters for Fundraisers
ACS realized it had some good potential, and it really started to explore mobile in 2010. Orkin described the mobile strategy as low and slow for ACS in February 2010. The history of mobile use was piecemeal, explored in certain campaigns. The organization had minimal expertise in the area, though there was general enthusiasm. However, the vision was vague, resources limited and there wasn't much urgency to implement mobile overall.
Still, ACS dipped its toes in the mobile water with some good stuff: the birthdays and Relay for Life apps, the launch of the Cancer.org mobile website, and a text-to-give program.
The goals are much more ambitious this year. Orkin described ACS’ current mobile strategy as fast and furious. The cancer organization has an official strategic plan, seven major project areas, new vendor relationships, new staff assignments, support from leadership and an actual budget for mobile.
“Support from leadership is really key,” Orkin said. “We worked to show how mobile engagement is relevant to an organization that’s mission-driven.
“It’s more challenging to show merit around mobile fundraising because the lens is so distorted from Haiti,” he added. “Haiti was an anomaly with the enormous scope of it. Most nonprofits on a month-to-month basis don’t have that opportunity. So there really is no benchmark yet on what a successful mobile program is. But you can’t base your mobile program on fundraising alone. You have to show it hits a lot of people and is great for engagement and activation.”
Once the mobile initiative was a go, ACS mapped out its strategic plan:
- Create a programmatic approach.
- Have a blueprint to provide structure and vision.
- Define priorities, components, initial projects.
- Align with overarching enterprise objectives.
- Ensure that ACS mobile is coordinated and consumer-friendly.
ACS made sure its mobile undertaking was aligned with everything else: brand, digital, social-media and website strategies.