In the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January, lots of folks are holding out hope that text-to-give and other mobile apps will be the Next Big Thing.
In the April issue of FS, our rockin’ Easier Said Than Done columnist, Jeff Brooks, takes on the subject. And in our “More on Mobile” feature, two mobile pros offer additional insights.
Here are some outtakes from that feature. Be sure to check out the April issue online or in print for more from these guys.
Says Jim Killion, president, ur mobile: “Mobile giving is, in many respects, the future of online giving. [But] not because there is a flaw in traditional online giving that is holding it back. Traditional Web giving will continue to grow. People like to give what they want to give, when they want to give it, how they want to give it. The ease and convenience of online giving have fueled its growth far more than brilliant strategy or innovative architecture. People give online because it is quick and easy.
“The same is about to be true for mobile giving. And for more and more people, their mobile device (presently their cell phone for the most part) is their communication hub. According to a Pew Internet study released this month, 26 percent get their news via the Internet, and a huge portion of those people get news from their mobile phones. A mobile device is more personal, more of an extension of oneself, than a computer will ever be. That's why [pundits] are saying that by 2013, there will me more mobile smartphones than personal computers in the world.
“Mobile giving is coming, and it’s moving quickly our way. The early adopters will be the early winners — and may well be the long-term winners if the pattern of online giving holds. Don’t become mobile-optimized too late, or your donors will have switched to another cause like you because that organization went where they did — and you didn’t.”
Adds Tony Aiello, co-founder and CEO, mGive: “One key element that should not go unsaid is recognition for the mobile operators and their support in helping to foster mobile donations. All carriers in the U.S. allow mobile donations to be processed using their networks and billing systems with 100-percent pass-through of all donations. This is very generous.
“In the case of Haiti, all mobile operators also waived any text-message fees to users who were making donations and accelerated payments to charities raising funds for Haiti. The good news is there are thousands of forward-thinking and fearless fundraisers out there. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many of them over the past five years since we started this labor of love in 2005. We have new mobile-related services rolling out every month, and I love introducing these new tools to our committed and innovative fundraising clients and prospects.
“The bottom line is the power of technology is growing exponentially. People are adopting new technology faster than ever before in human history. Our development team is already thinking five years into the future about where we need to be and what will be possible.”