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Mobile Fundraising Best Practice Guide

Mobile Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits

Do you know how to leverage mobile fundraising to empower your supporters to donate to your cause any time, anywhere from any device?

Smartphones have changed the way donors give and communicate with their cause of choice today. In order to succeed in today’s fundraising landscape, it’s critical that your organization know how to effectively reach your donors and expand your donor database by leveraging mobile technology.

The following best practice guide outlines key mobile fundraising and communication strategies that your organization can use to engage donors, spread the word of your mission, and, most importantly, get your donors to give directly from their mobile devices.

Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?

No worries. Receive a copy directly to your inbox so you can read it when it’s convenient for you.

Mobile Fundraising Guide Contents

Chapter 1: Content

Encourage supporters with compelling short videos and photos, share fundraising progress, and don’t spam!

Chapter 2: Marketing

Get noticed with text reminders, mobile-friendly emails, social media posts, and free Google advertisements.

Chapter 3: Fundraising

Make it easy for donors to give and encourage recurring donations with just a few taps.

Chapter 4: Follow-up

Thank your donors and remind them of the impact they are making through their donations.

Create Compelling Content

Your organization has a story to tell.  Convey that story in a meaningful and poignant way – no matter what content format you choose – so you can capture the hearts, minds (and wallets) of anyone exposed to your mobile fundraising campaign.

Content Ideas: Create a series of 15-30-60 second videos to tell your story and show in a very visual way the good your nonprofit is doing.

Don’t forget to share your website address, donation page URL or text-to-donate keyword and short code so supporters know how they can give to your cause through mobile fundraising.

You can also create Facebook or Instagram photo galleries that show supporters exactly what you do and how your nonprofit is making a difference.

Here are a few of the ways you can make sure your content is compelling and engaging:

  • Each piece of your content should grab their attention in less than 15 seconds.
  • Look for human elements that make your story stand out.
  • Keep descriptions less than 140 characters.
Peer To Peer Fundraising Best Practices

Encourage Donations with Facebook Live! 

Try Facebook Live to broadcast to a wider audience. Your live feed displays on your wall and all your followers can feel like they’re part of the story as they interact with you in the moment.

  • Call out the names of commenters as they post during your live broadcast and as they donate to your campaign — use a live fundraising thermometer that displays donor names, donation amounts, and your fundraising goals
  • Read their comments to show them you care about what they have to say
  • Reply to their comments as often as you can
  • Thank your donors to show them how much you appreciate their support
Steve Harvey leveraged the power of mobile fundraising and Facebook Live by asking his fans to text the keyword STEVE to 91999 from their mobile phones during his live broadcast to donate to his Ride for Charity

Use Multi-Channel Marketing

Today’s savvy nonprofit professionals understand that in order to successfully reach and engage supporters, you must be where they are and you must know how they prefer to be engaged. So, given that more than half of all web traffic comes from a mobile device and that mobile-friendly donation pages receive 34% more gifts, it’s simply a no-brainer to focus on multiple marketing strategies that will make it easy for your supporters to connect and give to your cause right from their mobile phones.

Check out some of the ways you can implement multi-channel marketing to maximize your mobile fundraising campaigns: 

Text Reminders    Mobile-friendly Emails  Social Media    Advertise on Google

Send Text Reminders to Keep Your Cause Top of Mind

There is so much competition for donor attention from so many good causes that even your most passionate supporters might find it difficult to focus on your mission all of the time.

Try sending text messages, the most convenient form of donor communication, to get and keep your cause front and center in your supporters’ minds.

A 99% open rate, and most messages read within 3 minutes, make text messaging the most effective marketing channel available to nonprofit organizations.

All you have to do is upload your list of existing phone numbers to start sending text message reminders to your entire donor database.  Plus, as a nonprofit, you have special TCPA permissions to send text messages to supporters without first getting their approval.

Peer To Peer Fundraising Best Practices
Peer To Peer Fundraising Best Practices

Increase Your Reach with Mobile-friendly Emails

Donors and supporters expect to receive email communications from the organizations they support. Mobile devices make it easy for them to connect with your nonprofit’s messages and mission at any time and from wherever they are. Send mobile-friendly emails to ensure that you reach supporters who may be checking their inboxes on their mobile devices.

Approximately 50% of the emails you send your supporters are read on mobile devices. If they’re Smartphone users, 63% of them will delete your emails immediately if they’re not mobile friendly.

The best emails are highly visual, contain minimal copy and have one clear call-to-action. Include compelling videos, pictures, and stories to increase response rates. You can then cross-promote the same content via social media and text message to maximize its impact and to help you reach the largest percentage of donors.

Post to Social Media to Connect with New and Existing Supporters

Your supporters regularly spend time interacting with friends and family, brands they like and causes they support on social media making it a must-have marketing channel for your organization.

78% of all potential donors have at least one social media profile.

Post compelling stories, moving images and powerful calls to action to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat to gain new followers and donors. Unlike text and email, you should post to social media as often as you have something compelling to share!

To collect donations across all social media platforms use donation shortlinks in your message copy, use donation keywords, and QR codes in photos.

Peer To Peer Fundraising Best Practices

Make Giving Easy with Mobile

Mobile fundraising, or the raising of money from donors via their mobile devices, is a definite no-brainer for your nonprofit organizations when you consider that:

  • 96% of your donors use their mobile phone as their primary device for staying connected with your mission
  • Mobile-friendly donations pages, which can be completed from any device yield 34% more submissions
  • Text messages are read 98% of the time, 90% within 3 minutes
  • 65% of social media interactions with your cause happens on mobile

Make it easy for supporters to give to your cause on the go through mobile fundraising methods like mobile-friendly emails, donation forms and text to donate campaigns that allow donors to text a keyword to a shortcode like 41444 or 71777 to immediately receive a text message with a link to your secure donation page where they can complete their gift.

Optimize your Direct Mail Campaigns with Mobile Fundraising 

Why talk about direct mail in a section about mobile fundraising?  Let’s take a look at some quick facts:

  • Direct mail is still one of the most popular traditional marketing channels for many nonprofits
  • 35% of donors say they prefer to respond to direct mail by giving online where 51% of website traffic is on a mobile phone
  • Almost half of the supporters that respond to your direct mail fundraising campaigns are doing it on their mobile phones
  • Donors are 50% more likely to respond to your direct mail campaign when they receive multiple messages across fundraising channels that reinforce your call-to-action

Whatever marketing channel you choose, make sure you link to your branded, mobile-friendly donation pages. Text HEART to 51555 or go to mcause.us/heart to see an example of how mobile fundraising can optimize your next direct mail campaign.

Follow Up with Your Donors

Studies have shown that the main reason why donors stop giving to a cause is not knowing that their gift made a difference. Follow up after each and every mobile fundraising donation to express how grateful you are for your supporters’ generosity and to show them what your organization is accomplishing with their gift.

The following simple actions can help you forge a long-term relationship with your donors that can result in continued support for your organization all year-round.  Remember donors who feel appreciated are more likely to give again.

  • Send automatic tax receipts via text message and email
  • Keep donors engaged with social media follow links
  • Send text updates about the progress of your work, volunteer opportunities and more
  • Embed a thank you video on the confirmation page to show your appreciation

When you create your thank you video send it out with a personal message via text, email, or social post to all donors who participated in your mobile fundraising campaign. Try introducing your next campaign and inviting donors to “Stay Tuned”.

Keep Recurring Donors Engaged with Exclusive Membership 

A fun way to follow up with supporters who become repeat givers via mobile fundraising is to create a special team, club or membership reserved for recurring donors that provide them with members-only access to news and information about your organization’s work.

Try sending monthly text messages with exclusive, behind-the-scenes impact videos and insider updates to keep them informed and engaged.

Operation Finally Home, which provides custom-built, mortgage-free homes to America’s military heroes and the widows of the fallen created Hero Partners, a community of supporters committed to helping on a continual basis.

Download a free PDF version of this mobile fundraising guide…

PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide

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