Mobile Takes the 'Event' Out of Fundraising
Is fundraising still an "event"?
The two words go well together, and we've all heard them before. "Fundraising" plus "event" means some entertainment, some refreshments and some giving. But there's something going on with the idea of a fundraising event that the mobile phone is set to disrupt in the same way that it has changed human interaction and just about every other behavior humans engage in.
With the meteoric rise of the mobile phone, the word "event" has been removed from the phrase. In the era of all things mobile, fundraising is no longer just an event.
Without pointing out the sheer ubiquity of the mobile phone, no one need be reminded of the fact that in order for us to reach each other these days it begins and ends with connecting to each other's mobile phone.
So if connecting to each other in our mobile age means connecting via a mobile phone, nonprofits have to ask themselves how important is an anywhere, anytime connection to new and existing supporters. From my point of view, it could mean survival. The fundraising event is about to be overshadowed by anytime, anywhere fundraising.
Don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean a constant drumbeat of asking supporters for donations. Rather, what it means is a constant connection with new and existing supporters through their mobile phones wherein they can decide what they do and when they do it. Maybe they'll watch a video you have, read a success story about your mission, or maybe they're having a great day and are just feeling generous and want a frictionless giving experience.
Fundraising in the world of all things mobile highlights the need, so share your mission and your stories with them in what I call ABC: Always Be Cultivating.
Large brands of all kinds are racing to figure out what mobile means to cultivating new and existing customers before their competitors figure it out first and poach their customers. I recall a report from Compuware stating that if a person has a bad experience with your site on his mobile phone, he won't come back ... ever. And he won't visit your brick-and-mortar presence either.
For nonprofits, this race is no different. Like it or not, nonprofits compete on donor experience and for their attention, support, time and loyalty.
Relying on a fundraising event, therefore, in our mobile world of anywhere, anytime could present a mountain-sized challenge since mobile makes fundraising more cultivation than event. Available to any nonprofit is an ongoing connection to new and existing supporters through their mobile phones.
Keep the events going, but don't just add mobile to your events and then leave it on the shelf not working for you when it can be used all the time as your ultimate cultivation vehicle.
Our phones are with us all the time, and any nonprofit can be engaging and fundraising with anyone all the time too. You just can't do this with a fundraising event.
Go mobile. Reach new and existing supporters anywhere, anytime. Let them learn more about the good things you're doing and give them an easy way to give in the moment.
Always. Be. Cultivating.
The mobile donors of today could be the people down the road who leave you their estates.
Dale Knoop is founder and CEO of RAZ Mobile.