Today’s guest blogger is Wauker Matthews, Director of Sales at @Pay.
Now more than ever, it’s important to keep an eye on trends in nonprofit fundraising. Technology is shifting and changing every day, and it’s important to maintain a firm grasp on what’s effective, what’s pertinent, and what’s easiest for donors.
For the past several years, mobile fundraising has become more and more popular among nonprofits of all sizes. Why’s that?
To put it plainly: mobile fundraising is swift, safe, and simple.
It meets all of the criteria for effective fundraising.
But “mobile fundraising” is just an umbrella term for a much more complicated set of giving possibilities. That’s precisely why we’ve done the research and broken down for you the top mobile fundraising trends for this year.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 trends for mobile fundraising:
1. Texting to give to charity
Did you know that 95% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, making it one of the most effective means of communication? You may not have known that statistic, but you probably already know that one of the biggest mistakes you can make with fundraising is to forget about your donors who aren’t physically present at your fundraising events.
Those are just two of the reasons why text-to-give technology is such an incredible fundraising tool.
With text-to-give, you can engage with donors who aren’t at your fundraising events, using one of the most effective and efficient means of communication out there. All your donors need to do is text an amount they’d like to give to your organization’s text-to-give number, and voila! Donation made!
And thanks to the major success of notable mobile fundraising campaigns, like the Red Cross’s efforts in Haiti, it’s also easier than ever to market text-to-give to your donors. Those campaigns set the precedent and proved to potential donors everywhere that text-to-give is secure, easy, and readily accessible.
Because of its ease-of-use and its inherent mobility, text-to-give is one of the hottest trends to sweep the nation.
2. Crowdfunding via mobile device
When you’re in the market for a way to fundraise that will not only increase your funds but will also grow and strengthen your network of supporters, look no further than crowdfunding.
Mobile crowdfunding, which is also often known as peer-to-peer fundraising, can be an amazing way to leverage your existing donors.
“How?” You ask.
By enlisting the help of your most vocal supporters, your advocates, your major gift donors, and even your board members.
Getting those who most avidly contribute to your cause on board with your mobile fundraising plans is a surefire way to succeed in the long-run. All you have to do is give them the ability to fundraise for you. That’s what mobile crowdfunding is all about!
Once you’ve given your close supporters the tools they need to fundraise on your behalf, they can reach out to people in their respective networks via mobile:
- They can text their cousin in Idaho, asking for a $30 contribution.
- They can call their college roommate in Miami, prompting them to donate $20 to your cause.
- They can shoot an email to a coworker, providing a link to your mobile-friendly crowdfunding page.
- And so much more!
The uniting factor in all of these scenarios is connection.
Your original connection opened the door for that cousin in Idaho to become a recurring donor; the roommate in Miami is now an advocate for your cause in Florida; and that coworker has now looked into volunteering with your organization.
For this very reason, mobile crowdfunding is trending with nonprofits across the country.
3. Enhancing email for mobile
When you’re planning your next fundraising event, whether it’s a gala to benefit your church’s new atrium or a silent auction to raise money for your school, you’re probably already planning to send out an email invite to your constituents.
“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking to yourself, “Hasn’t email always been an option for my nonprofit? How is this a trend?”
What we’re talking about here is email 2.0. Email that’s optimized for a mobile device.
What makes mobile email different?
- Mobile email is built for your phone.
- It seamlessly conforms to the 3”x5” phone screen.
- The images you incorporate load quickly and beautifully.
- And more!
Admit it, there’s nothing worse than opening up an email from your favorite organization, only to find that it doesn’t load well. You have to pinch and scrunch your fingers to try to read it. Eventually, you just give up. It’s not worth the hassle. Your mobile donors feel the same way. They want to donate through your email; they want to respond to your email invite to the school function and the church gala.
Help them out by optimizing all of your emails for mobile.
While email’s been around for decades, mobile email is a hot trend that has the attention of nonprofit fundraisers all over.
4. Mobilizing matching gifts
Imagine it’s 3 PM. You walk to the vending machine, dollar in hand (okay, we’ll be honest: $1.75). You put your money in the machine, press A7 after eyeing those sweet, sweet peanut butter cups. You hit enter, and much to your delight: not one, but two packets fall.
That’s pretty much exactly how matching gifts work.
Not only could you double your organization’s donations with matching gifts, but you could even quadruple them, as some companies match at up to a 4:1 ratio! All your donors need to do is donate, then submit a matching gifts request form to their employers (if their employers have matching gift policies in place). From there, it’s up to the company that employs your donor to make a matching contribution.
These matching gifts can also be made when your donors volunteer their time instead of (or in aid of) their monetary gifts. This is called a volunteer grant, and it’s becoming a more and more popular form of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
How do you take this advancement mobile?
Your organization can let its donors know about the possibility of matching gifts through:
- And more!
Of course, marketing matching gifts using these methods is extremely mobile-friendly, so you can reach every donor on the move.
Marketing matching gifts via mobile is steadily picking up speed, and with good reason! Who doesn’t love two-for-the-price-of-one?
5. Making online donation pages mobile-friendly
Our final mobile fundraising trend is mobile donation pages.
You already know all of the best practices when it comes to online donation pages.
How do you translate that for mobile giving?
Many of the same best practices still apply (simplicity, ease-of-use, security, etc.).
The main differences are:
- Your donation buttons must be larger and easier to press on a mobile device.
- Any pictures you display on your donation page must load well on mobile.
- Your required fields should be easy to fill out, and some fields should fill in donor information automatically to make the process more streamlined.
As long as you optimize your online donation page to function on a mobile device as well as it does on a laptop, you’re bound to find mobile fundraising success.
With so many other forms of fundraising moving in the mobile direction, it only makes sense that donation pages are heading that way, too. What are you waiting for? Hop on the mobile giving train with the trend of mobile donation pages!
With all five trends in mind, your organization can now now fundraise easily, efficiently, and most importantly of all: effectively!
Whether you choose to incorporate text-to-give into your existing plans or you just improve your mobile email strategies, you’re on the fast track to fundraising success.
We hope this article has helped you out and shown you some of the most exciting possibilities in the nonprofit fundraising industry today. Good luck and go mobile!
Wauker Matthews is Director of Sales at @Pay, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to give in just a few clicks from text, email, web and social media. Wauker has been in brand & business development for over 8 years, helping organizations grow in both size and reach.