How to Use Mobile Fundraising for Your Nonprofit

It’s no shock that mobile fundraising is becoming a more effective tool for nonprofits. The amount of time that people—particularly Millennials—interact with mobile devices, provides an imperative outlet for soliciting donations from their thumbs.

The bulk of all mobile fundraising campaigns are easily accessible and are time efficient—qualities that are necessary in our GO, GO, GO society. It’s said that 10 million people now text religiously, and what started as a fad for youngsters has seeped into the older generations.

Text Messaging to Fundraise

Instead of asking Siri to open up Angry Birds (don’t start, it’s addictive), people are asking her to spell out the short code to donate to their favorite nonprofit. Nonprofits most commonly use text messaging to engage constituents in five ways: fundraising, advocacy, public awareness, to promote their website and to request information.

Text fundraising is convenient and user-friendly. With a simple dance of your thumbs on your keyboard, anyone with a texting phone can add donations to their phone bill. No forms. No hassle. No worries.

Still wary on whether or not this fundraising technique works? The month after the Haiti earthquake, The American Red Cross’ Text Haiti fundraiser made 10 percent of its $32 million donations via mobile.

Starting a Mobile Fundraiser 

First thing’s first—does your nonprofit have a mobile website? If not an entire website, the least you could do is create particular web pages that are available via cell phone. Still need convincing? Here are three reasons why you should make your nonprofit website mobile friendly:

  • To have effective text alert campaigns. Having your text alerts stream back to your desktop site is inefficient because regular cell phone and smartphone users alike will have difficulty accessing the miniscopal text.
  • Once your text alert campaigns are practical, it will be easier to solicit text-to-give donors. Link your text alerts to links with a “donate now” page that’s accessible and easy to maneuver.
  • Over 700 million smartphone users consistently access the internet on their devices. The cliche that “everyone is doing it” provides positive peer pressure in this instance.

People feel lost without their phones in hand or pocket. Instead of accessing Twitter or SnapChat—the app that sends selfies to friends and promptly deletes them—while standing in line at the grocery store or in an awkward situation at a party, push your donors to access their phones to do good.

Bored? Text (insert short code) to donate money to (insert worthy cause.)


Ingrid Holmquist

October 2, 2012

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