Over the last 18 months I have subscribed to over 50 nonprofit text alert campaigns from a wide variety of organizations, but it wasn’t until this past April 28th that I finally received a text alert from a nonprofit that linked to a mobile website:
That the text came from the Humane Society of the United States was not surprising. They were also one of the first nonprofits to utilize Myspace back in 2005 and Facebook Groups in 2006. They know the importance of being an early adopter. That said, the link in the text, when tapped, opened this mobile-optimized web page:
Inside of their new mobile website (m.humanesociety.org):
Why is this so important? Because up until April 28th all the nonprofit text alerts (which included links) I had been sent over the previous 18 months from those 50+ nonprofits only linked to desktop websites – which more often than not can not be read on 2-inch smartphone screens. For example, and as much as I love Sea Shepherd and appreciate their effort to be an early adopter in group text messaging, so far all of their text alerts have linked to their desktop site. The most recent was received on April 26:
The bit.ly link (smart for tracking click-through rates) then opened their online store – a desktop version (shop.seashepherd.org/store):
It took almost four minutes to download the store on my mobile browser because it was designed for fast desktop shopping, and of course it would be almost impossible to actually buy anything from their store on my smartphone. They also have a new iPhone app, but it too only links to their desktop website. As they continue to pioneer the Mobile Web, I hope a new mobile website is high on their To Do List. They are close. Very, very close. 🙂
All that said, just nine days after the text from the Humane Society, on May 7th I then received my second text alert from a nonprofit that linked to a mobile website:
This time from the World Wildlife Fund (worldwildlife.org/mobile):
Now, when two of the largest animal welfare and conservation organizations in the world coincidently make significant progress in their group text messaging campaigns within two weeks of each other, that’s definitely a trend alert. If you want to be one of the nonprofits to reap the benefits of early adoption, the time to launch a mobile website and group text messaging campaign is now.
Finally, that the three nonprofits listed above are all related to animal rights, animal welfare, and conservation is telling. After six years of spending 40-50 hours a week on social networking sites, I now consider myself an animal activist. These organizations and others like them, through social media, have made me aware of the plight of our world’s wildlife and as a result, have changed my consumer and donor behavior. I now give a lot more than I used to, and primarily to animal organizations. And apparently, that’s not unique to me. In the Giving USA 2010 Report, donations to animal and environmental organizations is one of only two sectors that grew and I believe its due to their excellence in utilizing the Social Web. It appears they are now well on their way to pioneering the Mobile Web and mobile fundraising as well. That said, I don’t know if the Humane Society is the absolute first to link to a mobile website in a text alert, but I know they are definitely one of the first. I’d love to know of others?
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