Convert Existing Donors to Pledge Via Mobile Fundraising?   Leave a comment

Last month I wrote a blog Text2Give – Is Mobile Fundraising Right for Your NPO? Text2Give is a great vehicle for new donor acquisition because it is automatic and only asks for a nominal donation. However, limiting current donors to only $5 or $10 donations doesn’t make sense. So, I wanted to introduce another mobile giving option, Text2Pledge. Text2Pledge is a great addition to a live event or annual fundraising gala.  Supporters can donate any denomination right from their mobile phone and the charity keeps 100% of the collected funds. Here a quick snapshot of the differences between Text2Give and Text2Pledge.

  Text2Give  Text2Pledge 
Participation  501(c)(3) organization that meet Mobile Giving Foundations minimum requirements including having annual gross revenues in excess of $500k and being in operation at least one year. Any 501(c)(3) organization
Donation Amounts  $5 or $10 donations Unlimited
Fund Collection Donations are charged directly to the donor’s wireless carrier. Charities receive the pledge’s mobile number and dollar amount to follow up and collect funds.
Setup Typically 8-12 weeks. Can be setup in about 2 weeks.
Reporting 24/7 real-time access to web-based reporting tools.

Who To Target: Text2Pledge often works best with existing donors who like the convenience of donating via phone, but don’t want to be constraint to a low dollar amount. 

How It Works: Displaying a live webpage with a real time pledge counter and instructions on how to pledge at your live event can be very powerful. Donors can write quick messages of support with their pledge, like “$500 in memory of my mom” or “$1000 from ABC Corp. We’ll double it if you pledge $1k too.” They can even just pledge anonymously. Seeing the funds grow right there at the event and allowing members to get involved in a personal way by adding a message generates excitement and an energy traditional pledge cards can’t.

LESSONS LEARNED:

1. Get the Crowd Warmed Up: It can be a little tough to be the first one to donate. Break the ice by integrating instructions on how to donate right into your agenda. “Everyone get your phone out! Start a new text message by entering 95613…” Actually submit a pledge so participants see it on the screen and have staff walk around and help donors that are unfamiliar.

2. What Was That Number Again? You probably can’t or don’t want to leave the live webpage up for the entire event. Integrate Text2Pledge instructions at the tables or in the program allows guests to access them easily. Then keep reminding them through the night to participate. This is particularly powerful after a moving speaker or video. You can also acknowledge the pledge counter when a large donation comes in or a message calls out a challenge or a touching sentiment.

3. Stop the Presses? Mobile giving offer convenience, instant gratification and a green alternative to pledge cards. So, it’s alluring to want to drop the traditional methods from your budget. However, mobile giving is still a relatively new concept. Offering traditional pledge cards, even in limited quantities, in addition to Text2Pledge is advised until wide spread adoption is obtained. You will have a few folks that like the way they’ve always donated and don’t want to change. You don’t want to miss out on any pledges however they come in!

4. Don’t Forget the No Shows.  Typically Text2Pledge works best during live events, but since it employs mobile and web based technology, it can be accessed from virtually anywhere. So let key donors that can’t be at the event know about the webpage. They’ll see the pledges rolling in and can donate remotely. It gives them the ability to be involved even when they can’t be there in person.

Have you started using or investigating mobile giving for your NPO? If yes, how is it working? Do you have other lessons learned you can share with other charities considering adding it?

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Posted November 29, 2010 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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