Getting Started with Mobile Fundraising: 5 Ways

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By Eric Griego

Almost everyone has a mobile phone these days and that includes your donors. Imagine they’ll see your next fundraising email appeal on their phone and decide to donate right then. Will they be able to do that without getting so frustrated that they’ll want to smash their phones to pieces?

Before we get knee-deep into year-end fundraising season,take some time to get up to speed with mobile fundraising. Eric Griego from @pay shows you how.

Mobile fundraising is a craze that’s sweeping the nation. And if you’re a nonprofit professional that’s curious about how you can jump on this exciting bandwagon, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we’re going to discuss 5 of the top ways to make mobile fundraising a part of your organization’s strategy.

Let’s dive right in!

#1. Upgrade Your Email Strategy for Mobile.

First things first, you have to get your emails in line.

Because Americans spend an average of 6.3 hours a day checking their emails, you’d better believe it’s important to make your emails stand out.

And where are they checking their inboxes most often? You guessed it: on their mobile phones!

That’s why it’s doubly crucial to make sure that all of your correspondence is mobile-responsive and mobile-friendly.

Some easy-to-follow best practices for ensuring this include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Stack content vertically instead of horizontally,
  • Limit the amount of text and large images,
  • Enlarge buttons and calls-to-action,
  • And ensure a quick loading speed,

A couple of these strategies will require more work than others to incorporate, but at the end of the day, it’s vital to invest in your mobile email strategy if you want to launch a successful mobile giving campaign.

For more concrete advice on re-vamping your emails, check out @Pay’s guide to email newsletters.

#2. Investigate Text-to-Give Technology.

Another big piece of the mobile fundraising puzzle is text-to-give fundraising.

Text-to-give technology lets users text their favorite nonprofit (that’s you!) with the donation amount of their choice, and voila! Their gift is submitted!

An example would be a donor has simply texted the number “10” to a Disaster Relief Fund’s text-to-give number. They’ve clicked on the link that was automatically sent to them to confirm their payment, and the nonprofit has sent them an immediate, “Thanks!”

Texting to give is a short, intuitive process that takes less time than tying your shoes.

And it’s an absolute myth that young people are the only ones that text to donate.

In fact, the average text-to-give donor is 49-59 years old and has a college degree.

All of this is just to say that when you’re looking into getting started with mobile fundraising, don’t discount text-to-give technology.

It’s a simple, swift, and — best of all — secure way for your donors to give on the go.

#3. Give Your Website a Mobile Refresher.

Just as you should probably re-boot your email strategy, you should also take a second glance at your nonprofit’s website to make sure that your online giving options translate well to mobile.

Again, you’ll go through a lot of the same procedures as you would when you’re updating your email systems for mobile-responsiveness.

You’ll still want to make sure that the contents of your website stack neatly and vertically on a phone. This will ensure that no one has to pinch, zoom, or swipe around in order to read and navigate your site effectively.

You may also want to figure out an interesting way to tell your nonprofit’s story through mobile-friendly visuals.

But make sure you’re still limiting the number of large images, as they tend to bog down loading times. Striking the right balance is hard, but not impossible!

To read more best practices for sprucing up your nonprofit’s website, click here.

#4. Make Mobile Fundraising a Part of Every Day.

One of the most important facets of mobile fundraising is that it allows your donors to be able to communicate with you from wherever they are, whenever they’d like.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see why you should consider making mobile giving a part of your everyday strategy.

From live fundraising events to direct appeals and so much more, your nonprofit can incorporate every kind of mobile giving into your plans.

For instance, if you’re hosting an auction, you might consider looking into mobile bidding technology.

And if you’re trying to ramp up your year-end giving, you may want to research the ways that email donation buttons can significantly increase annual gifts.

Not to mention the kind of funds that launching a text-to-give campaign at a benefit concert could raise!

If you need further advice on buying software, consult @Pay’s informative article.

#5. Incorporate Mobile into Your Stewardship.  

Nothing is more important than giving your donors a great thank-you experience.

And with mobile giving technology, your nonprofit can make that goal a reality.

Before the advent of online fundraising, a donor would have to mail in a check or submit one in person (at a gala or other event) and then wait a few days (or weeks, in some cases) to hear that the organization appreciated their donation.

Now, when a donor makes a mobile contribution, the software automatically sends back at least one message of thanks within a few minutes!

And setting that automated message is as easy as apple pie.

In addition to setting up automatic messages of gratitude, your organization can (and should!) also be prepared with personalized email messages to send out to your mobile donors.

You don’t want to leave the conversation with just a “Thanks!” You want to demonstrate to those supporters that their gifts are instrumental to your cause.

So be sure to draft up several different digital letters of thanks throughout the year.

Update your email messages with current project info, real photos of progress, and most of all, sincere words of gratitude.

Because when you thank your donors promptly and personally, you end up with happy, loyal supporters!

Hopefully, this article has enlightened you on some of the ways that you can get started with and incorporate mobile fundraising into your existing strategy.

Until next time, happy fundraising!

Eric Griego is the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple Eric Griego Headshotand secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations. In his spare time, he roots for the Denver Broncos while enjoying a nice craft beer.

iPhone photo by Martin Halek

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