How to convert mobile users into potential donors

Nonprofit fundraising efforts can be bolstered by attracting mobile users and encouraging to make donations.
Date Published

Nonprofit fundraising efforts that don’t leverage the power of technology are likely to be ineffective. This will be especially true when compared to charitable organizations that already have a clear understanding that many of its potential donors are those who spend a lot of time online. The growth in popularity of the Internet, as well as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, has created the need for 501(c)(3) organizations to develop innovative strategies that help make a connection with today’s digital donors.

However, in order to make these kids of fundraising efforts more effective, it’s imperative to understand the profile of today’s technology consumer so that strategies can be crafted that not only increase donations, but further the organizational mission of a nonprofit. This is especially critical when working to attract those who are heavy users of mobile devices.

Mobile donors are prone to impulse
Smartphones and tablets have made it easier for those owning these devices to conduct transactions quickly and while on the go. Oftentimes, users are heavy multi-taskers who are accomplishing one task while rapidly moving on to the next. This can work to the benefit of a charitable organization’s nonprofit fundraising efforts.

A joint study conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which polled 800 people who gave after 2010​’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, found that many donated financially to help those in need without hesitation.

The “Text to Haiti” campaign influenced 73 percent of those who gave to do so as soon as they heard about it, according to the Berkman Center, while 76 percent stated they gave via mobile to help advance certain causes without giving it a second thought.

However, even more encouraging is that 43 percent often influenced friends, family members and others in their social network to do the same, while 56 percent continued to give to similar causes after making an initial donation. All of this information should be encouraging to charitable organizations because it reveals how beneficial mobile donors are to bolstering nonprofit fundraising efforts.

“Mobile giving is often an ‘impulse purchase’ in response to a major event or call to action,” Aaron Smith, Pew Internet Project’s senior research specialist said in a release from the Berkman Center. “These donations come from people who are ready to give if they are moved by what they see and hear.”

Strategies to attract mobile donors
It’s clear that attracting smartphone and tablet users should be a top priority for nonprofits. In order to accomplish this goal, Nonprofit Bridge offers a number of best practices for 501(c)(3) groups to follow. Here are two of the most beneficial:

  1. It’s all in the message: Marketers and advertisers use compelling messaging to influence the buying behavior of consumers. The same strategy can be applied to nonprofit fundraising. Having a strong call to action that resonates with mobile donors and encourages them to give should be part of any strategy to increase donations.
  2. Offer multiple giving options: Mobile users enjoy streamlined experiences that make completing e-commerce related transactions on their devices easier. This is also true when it comes to making mobile donations. In addition to having fields where debit or credit card information can be entered, nonprofits should also consider using innovative giving portals such as virtual wallets or accepting bitcoins as a form of currency. This can be a great way to be perceived as a forward thinking charity by a potential donor which could encourage them to give more in the future.

These best practices can be combined with others or built upon individually to ensure that a 501(c)(3) organizations nonprofit fundraising efforts are effective with respect to mobile.

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