Print is on the decline, and digital media has now risen to the pre-eminent position in modern communication. Yet many charities today are still obstinately refusing to embrace the change, preferring instead to stick with the traditional fundraising techniques they have perfected over time.
Unfortunately, this attitude is a major detriment to charitable organizations, and reflects a lamentable tendency of charities to lag behind the fast-evolving realities of the modern world. So it is important for charities to embrace mobile fundraising, not only because it holds the potential to attract substantial support for their missions, but also because it inspires a progressive attitude throughout the organization, which inevitably resounds at all levels of the philanthropic project and motivates innovation.
What is Mobile Fundraising? To put it simply: mobile fundraising is any app-based, cell phone-based, or web-based platform for generating interest in an organization or charitable cause. There are different types of mobile fundraising and here we provide you with a guide on the best methods to use for mobile fundraising and how.
There are several basic types of mobile fundraising, and countless creative variants amongst them, which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of each organization. Perhaps the most obvious type involves app-based fundraising. The most basic apps are little more than a source of information, a method for circulating relevant organizational news, and a platform for collecting online donations.
Yet while these apps can be effective in their own way, and are helpful for keeping already-established supporters involved, they ultimately make little impact when it comes to generating new interest in the charity.
Far more effective are apps like CharityMiles, which connects charities with corporate sponsors and individual supporters. Anyone interested in participating simply downloads the app, activates the GPS tracking function, and goes for a jog or bike ride. Sponsors then donate up to 25¢ per mile, creating a sort of ëMarathon for Charityí without a course or a finish line. Not only does the charity gain, but the app also promotes healthy living and eco-friendly commuting. Incorporating charity cash into your exercise routine is the way forward in the digital world we live in.
How to Use Mobile Fundraising for Your Non-Profit. If you are a new charity and are looking to branch out through mobile app fundraising then devise the right strategy for you through an analysis of these important issues below and take action:
1- Time frame. Think about how the app will function. Will people be donating daily, weekly or monthly through the app? Can people set timelines on the app, to beat the running time for example and then hit donate to charity? Always think innovation and time and combine the two accurately.
2- Recurring payments. Do think about how the app will take payments and the process you want it to follow. Consider the option for the person to pay automatically a specific amount of cash each time through the app or maybe a subscription service that takes a percentage of payment to donate to the charity cause. What is important to consider is the consumer in this instance, make sure that payment is set up correctly so that the app does not take out money when it should not be as this can cause some riots if set incorrectly and damage your brand.
3- Keep the human interaction. Remember it may be great to be interactive but charities need that human interaction still. Think about how you can combine mobile use with human interaction. For example, you could reward people with a gift program through the app. Encourage people to get involved but get interactive at the same time.
The web is crucial to spreading the word, there is hardly a person out there who has not heard of the World Wide Web. It is important for any charity or soon to be charity to set up fundraising page. On your fundraising page there are a few points that should be made:
1- Why people should fundraise for your cause
2- The inspiration behind the cause
3- How to get started. Remember having a fundraising pack downloadable online is essential to providing quality information and procedures to people
4- How peopleís money helps you, examples of where their money has gone, why this happened and the result
5- How people can get involved in your other charity events
6- The type of charity fundraising jobs you have available. Cancer Research UK for example, have shown on their jobs page that you can help beat breast cancer through a button that you click to donate, fundraise or volunteer and this works well from one page to another.
Another inspiring example of mobile fundraising can be seen in the web-based crowd-sourced fundraising initiative called Milaap. This non-profit business functions under the belief that a “hand up is better than a handout.”
Donors provide zero-interest microloans to impoverished communities in India, to be used for improving sanitation, sustainable farming, electric, or healthcare infrastructures. When recipients pay back the loan (at .6% interest), users can reinvest their money into a new project or withdraw the funds if they so choose.
Thus far, the program has been an enormous success, helping impoverished communities throughout the country. The charitable model is both self-sustaining and technologically innovative with its unique crowd-sourced strategy. If you are looking for inspiration in developing an online platform for fundraising then Milaap may be one to follow as it works well.
Social media is also an invaluable tool for charities today. It is a quick, inexpensive, and easy way to inform supporters and friends about organizational events, keep donors updated with relevant news, and connect with potential donors who share common goals. Social media also allows for more intimate and personal connections than many other types of mobile fundraising, and is therefore a unique and essential strategy for every organization.
Anyone who has ever received one probably understands how bothersome it is to get mass texts. But charities that can find creative ways to implement this tool are proving that it can and does work, when done correctly. Txtlocal, for example, recently teamed up with Marie Curie to launch a text-based fundraiser directed at their supporters. One idea they came up with was to text everyone who completed their Cure Cancer Marathon, with directions to the tent where they could receive a free massage.
Like all forms of fundraising, old and new, the most effective strategies are the ones that grab attention by providing something new and unexpected. Today’s powerful communication technologies provide an invaluable resource for connecting charities with potential donors throughout the world. It is no longer a question of whether charities should start using mobile fundraising, but rather, how.
Author: Jen Beswick is a freelance writer, and passionate about helping charity events. Jen has project managed charity fundraising events, developed awareness on charities and supported Cancer Research jobs in fundraising in the UK. Fundraising can help not only causes but people and businesses too and mobile fundraising is certainly making its mark.