The Newest Trend in Nonprofit Fundraising
The American Red Cross really captured donors’ attention following the 2010 Haiti Earthquake by collecting $10 donations via text message. Their donation revenue shattered all previous mobile giving records for the most amount given within just days.
Since then, other large nonprofit organizations have launched their respective mobile donation campaigns in conjunction with other large-scale events. While mobile donation trends are on the rise, the real benefit to nonprofit organizations goes beyond mobile donations. The key aspect of mobile outreach is the ability to engage constituents through their most convenient and available device – their mobile phone.
TowerCare Technologies, a technology vendor based in Wexford and the team behind DonorPro software, recognized the real potential of text message marketing and mobile outreach for nonprofit organizations in the months after the Haiti Earthquake. Since then, they have developed a complete mobile marketing platform called DonorPro Connect, providing text message outreach, mobile websites and web-forms, and text-to-donate capabilities.
Who is to say that the future of communication will be mobile?
Email marketing is now a standard practice. 90% of nonprofits use email marketing strategies to reach their constituents (see the study here). While email is a quick, convenient, and easy way of communicating, open rates have plateaued and have hovered around 20% for the nonprofit industry.
In contrast, text messages (also known as SMS, which stands for Short Messaging Service) have an open rate of 97%. SMS outreach provides organizations with the ability to send quick, targeted, and effective communication that will be opened. Of those opened messages, 83% will be read within 15 minutes – so an organization’s outreach can convey a strong call-to-action for its network.
Text message communication can be an excellent complement to an organization’s email efforts. In email, you have a blank canvas to highlight your events, successes, needs, and news. Text message reminders or alerts provide the perfect follow-up “ping” to keep your mission in your constituents' thoughts.
From 2008 to 2009, mobile web usage increased by 230%. By 2013, mobile web is expected to pass web usage from traditional computers. There is no more compelling data than this to either optimize your current site for mobile use or create a designated mobile website.
Imagine this: your organization has an event in three weeks which you've advertised via email newsletter and text message alert. As 93% of smart-phone owners access email on the go, they will most likely click on your registration link from a mobile phone. They may be unable to take action if the link directs them to your full-sized website, as the form may be too difficult to read and with too many fields to complete. They close the window and plan to register when returning to the office or home. As a result, you lose a registrant or donor because they forgot to reopen your website when returning to the office or home.
Now, imagine that your registration link pointed to a form which was compressed, easy to navigate, and can be completed within minutes. Your conversion rate and registrations would inevitably increase – just by optimizing your content for mobile use.
Another piece of mobile marketing for nonprofits is the famous text-to-donate. Why famous? Because the American Red Cross brought in $200,000 per hour on January 12, 2010. While it is clear the text-to-donate is perfect for an “in-need-right-now” purpose, mobile technologies represent exciting possibilities for traditional nonprofit events and needs. Are you supporting a membership-based organization? You might, for example, gain supporters at different membership levels by allowing recipients to text 'Member25', 'Member50', and 'Member75' to sign up. They could complete their membership payment via their mobile phone right then and there! Your team could report on the registrants and upload them to your database for future outreach. Maybe your organization is events-driven? Text-to-donate is well suited for a fundraising event, when awareness of and support for your organization is at a high. With a mobile giving campaign in place, for example, you might encourage attendees to donate (at any denomination you wish) by texting a specific keyword to 94523. Payment is complete within minutes and you've gained another donor!
DonorPro Connect was born from TowerCare Technologies' commitment to providing nonprofits with practical, intuitive, and successful nonprofit fundraising tools. The team behind DonorPro Connect will work with your organization to kick off your initial mobile campaign, design your unique mobile website, and start bringing in more donated dollars through your text-to-donate outreach. Further, these tools are offered to nonprofits at the lowest price available in the mobile market. We would love the opportunity to show you DonorPro Connect live. Please call us at 866-935-8281 to schedule an online demo.
You can also see DonorPro Connect in action by visiting TowerCare Technologies’ exhibitor table at TechNow 2011, the Pittsburgh region’s technology conference for nonprofits. Learn more and register today at http://technow2011.wordpress.com.