Christy Noel is the Vice President of Digital Marketing Services at MobileCause where she advises nonprofits to accelerate their fundraising and engagement efforts through giving and marketing strategies via digital technologies.
I was recently stopped in my tracks when I received a text from a nonprofit the other day whose mission is to fight child sex trafficking. The text read: “#OURBREAKINGNEWS: 10 girls rescued in SE Asia after operatives raid multiple karaoke bars. Aftercare is in place! More: click here.”
In those few seconds it took me to read that text, I knew the immediate action and impact my donation enabled. I had to know more. The link they sent took me to a page with details of the raid, the young girls who were rescued and the traffickers arrested. It was incredibly powerful.
My question is: why aren’t more organizations harnessing this power of mobile messaging to engage with donors and boost their fundraising?
We often hear from nonprofits that they are worried about spamming donors. If that is your concern, I ask you this: do you think the donors who received that same text as I did were unsubscribing as a result of spam?
Probably not. And if you too share compelling information and updates, neither will your donors.
With all the “noise” being pushed to donors on a daily basis from social media, email, television, radio, podcasts, and more, it’s getting harder to get your message out. If you’re not using the device that is tied to your donors virtually 24/7, you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your organization.
Mobile Stats and Facts
Mobile devices have indelibly changed the way we live; from how we communicate to how we stay connected to the world around us. With 96% of all Americans owning mobile devices, and 81% of those adults owning smartphones, it’s imperative that nonprofits adapt to meet donors where they are.
- The younger generations aren’t the only ones using mobile. According to Forbes, 66% of Baby Boomers currently send text messages as well.
- Text messages have a 98% open rate
- 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent
By embracing and leveraging mobile technology, you can significantly boost fundraising and donor engagement cross-generationally and in meaningful ways. Here are 5 excellent reasons mobile giving can boost your fundraising to create a top-performing, multi-channel communication plan.
1. Anytime, Anywhere
Convenience is the heart of mobile giving. Mobile giving makes it easy for supporters to donate at the exact moment they’re inspired to say ‘yes’ to your cause. The immediacy of mobile messaging and text-to-donate capabilities keeps your base passionate and engaged. Nonprofits can use text messaging to send updates, pertinent links, important info, provide links to donation pages and so much more. Donors can text a unique branded keyword to a 5-digit number and they’ll receive an instant reply with a message from you and a link to your organization’s mobile-friendly donation page.
2. Personalization and Meaningful Connection
Mobile giving opens up the ability to be more targeted and personal in your messaging, which contributes to higher levels of giving. Address your donor by their first name, use purposeful imagery or let donors know exactly how their dollars are being put to good use. All of this creates greater trust and longer-lasting connection with your constituents.
3. Branded Keywords Drive Action
Using a short, branded keyword gives you a call-to-action that is specific to your organization. Branded keywords provide an easy way to engage with donors in relation to each specific campaign. They make mobile messaging, global messaging by allowing for easy promotion via print, email, social media, direct mail, TV, radio, and word of mouth.
4. Social Media Integration
It’s no secret that social media is one of the best ways to get the word out about your cause. Showcasing your fundraiser in real-time through Facebook Live, Instagram Live or YouTube Live is an excellent way to utilize text-to-give. This allows donors to become virtual attendees at your event and participate in all the excitement. Donors can also share their support for your cause on their own channels from your thank you page.
5. Create Experiences Inside and Outside of Events
There are many ways to cultivate meaningful and fun moments via mobile messaging, so get creative and think outside the box. Use enhanced messaging to create raffles with giveaways connected to your cause. Heighten fundraising during an event with extras such as a text in for a complimentary cocktail coupon or a game of text message trivia. You can even create an interactive “choose-your-own-adventure” story using branded keywords. All of these help to reinforce your mission and create excitement with a tech-savvy audience. Plus, once a prospect or donor has texted you, you can then capture their mobile number for future communications.
Bonus: Mobile Beyond Messaging
Mobile messages aren’t just for donations and communications. They can be a great way to send supporters to volunteer registration forms, event tickets, and RSVPs, or even petitions. Check out how effective your messages are in driving traffic by reviewing analytics regularly. Use this info to optimize your communication strategy and usage of mobile messaging.
What About Email?
53% of all emails are opened on a mobile device, so don’t forget to make your emails mobile-friendly too! Here’s how:
- Compose short subject lines
- Use a single-column template
- Keep your email under 600 pixels wide
- Use a large font size
- Display small images
- Provide a distinct call-to-action
- Avoid menu bars
- Don’t stack links
- Test on multiple devices
Mobile giving via text-to-donate, branded keywords and enhanced messaging are only a few of the many ways to attract and inspire your supporters. But it’s worthwhile (and necessary!) to explore these avenues in order to grow your mission amidst an ever-changing technological landscape. Through in-the-moment calls to action plus compelling, creative storytelling, you can attract a loyal following that boosts your fundraising efforts for years to come. Happy Fundraising!
For more information on how to incorporate mobile giving into your fundraising campaigns, download the complimentary Complete Mobile Strategy Guide.
MobileCause provides an innovative suite of digital fundraising software and donor engagement solutions that help nonprofits raise more to do more good. They are the pioneers of text-to-donate and offer online, mobile and event fundraising solutions with peer-to-peer campaigns, mobile messaging, , robust reporting & analytics and CRM integration. Their dedicated team of expert Digital Marketing Strategists work with you to set up your campaigns and promotional tools to help take your mission to the next level.