The modern world seems to be spinning faster than ever before. We are all moving faster, doing more, and improving our communication systems. One of the major communication developments that has changed our society is the smartphone.
Our smartphones are rarely further than arm’s reach away. We use these little devices to check the time, make calls, connect on social media, text, and, now, as a donation tool.
As nonprofits, we need to engage the modern donor by making the most of evolving technology and our smartphones. Mobile giving is on the rise and in order to reach our greatest fundraising potential, we need to employ a few essential mobile giving strategies.
These top strategies will take your donation acquisition from mobile sources to the next level. Your organization should:
1. Mobile optimize donation forms.
2. Employ mobile pledge tools.
3. Start a text-to-give campaign.
4. Include a social media button.
5. Make the most of your email.
6. Try mobile bidding.
Let’s jump into the first of these strategies!
Your donation strategy starts with your online giving platforms. Providing multiple methods to accept donations means there are more options for your supporters to choose the most convenient option for them.
However, an overwhelming number of donors now use different online donation platforms to submit their donation.
Make sure they can continue this practice even when they don’t have access to a computer. Mobile optimization is when you build an online giving page so that it is easily navigable from a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.
Here are a few ways your nonprofit can ensure its digital giving pages are optimized for mobile devices:
- Make sure the images you include are visible on the screen of your smartphone. You don’t want to force people to scroll across a screen to see an entire image.
- Keep mission statements and any text to short paragraphs and bullet-points. When this text is condensed onto a smaller screen, this will make it easier to read.
- Ensure your donor will not need to zoom in. This means you should make your text large enough to read on a mobile device and that the page rearranges itself properly.
You’ve already convinced your supporters to visit your nonprofit’s donation page, so make sure the donation page is convincing and easy to use. If not, you’ll risk losing donors after having worked so hard to bring them to the page.
Be sure that when you are picking a donation form software, you pick one that enables mobile optimization.
While immediate donors use your newly mobile-optimized donation page, don’t forget to appeal to your pledge donors as well.
Pledges differ from donations in that they are essentially promised gifts. Pledge campaigns are a great way to appeal to those who may not have the capability to donate right now, but would still like to give and show their support down the line.
Snowball’s pledge campaign tips guide explains that for successful pledge campaigns, you need a pledge tool with plenty of options, but that is not difficult to use.
Ensure your pledge tool prioritizes a streamlined user experience with elements such as:
- Suggested pledge amounts. By suggesting donation amounts, you are taking away the difficult question of how much to give from your donors. They can simply choose the option they are most comfortable with.
- Fast loading times. In general, we don’t want to wait more than 3 seconds for a web page to load. This is even more true on a mobile device because we are using it on-the-go.
- Don’t require too much information. The longer a person is on your page, the more likely they are to back out from the pledge. Only require supporters to fill out necessary information (like payment and contact information).
Pledge tools are especially effective if your organization focuses on disaster relief, specific social or political issues, unexpected expenses, or annual fund drives.
As you run your pledge drive (or donation campaign) remember to state your nonprofit’s mission and the project you’re fundraising for to compel your supporters to give.
While some people might find your donation page through your website on their mobile devices, others would prefer a more direct method to reach it. Text-to-give technology allows for this direct connection.
Text-to-give is a perfect donation method to promote during fundraising and stewardship events.
Just imagine calling over the speaker, “Text your donation amount to XXXXX” and then watching your donations soar almost immediately!
Text-to-give enables you to:
- Collect donations quickly.
- Connect easily with donors.
- Confirm transactions through email.
Text-to-give tools are all a little different in their features and pricing, so you’ll have to find a software which works best for your organization.
For most software, a donor only needs to text a number and is sent a link to your donation page or to a confirmation email. As soon as the donor inputs their financial information, the transaction will be complete.
If you’re looking for a place to start this research, check out Double the Donation’s Top 11 Text-to-Give Services.
Have you ever seen a person staring at their phone for long periods of time and wondered, “What could hold their attention so long?” Well, the answer is likely social media. And it’s not just for youngsters anymore either! All generations are getting involved on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Social media is designed to be seen through a phone screen, so that is one of the best places to plan for it to be used.
On your donation page, include social media buttons for people to share their contribution to your organization.
Social media sharing is a key tool for organizations because:
- It promotes your organization’s brand name when people share their involvement on various platforms.
- Donors who share a contribution are inviting others to also give to your organization.
- This gives supporters a platform to share what your organization means to them through stories and posts.
Encouraging your donors to use their social media pages is a type of free marketing for your organization as well as a method to boost your donation amounts through their networks.
While social media buttons are a top method to promote sharing, you may also decide to design an organization hashtag, a Snapchat filter, and Facebook posts for promotion.
Next time you see someone smiling at their cell phone, it might be because they saw your latest Tweet!
Along with social media, another app that people often check on mobile devices is their email. So many of us rely very heavily on our emails as a primary form of communication with others, making email a vital method of communication for nonprofits.
Use your email to connect people to your donation pages and to keep them updated with the latest news of your organization.
One key feature to remember for sending emails is donor segmentation. This involves splitting your email lists into sub-lists based on a common feature among donors. For instance you may choose to segment donors based on age, location, or donation method.
Try segmenting your emails based on the type of donations people have given in the past. By taking all the segmentation information into consideration, you can:
- Promote past donation types for particular donors for future gifts.
- Keep track of when people have donated and reach out if they have not given in a while.
- See which donation method is most successful for your organization to promote further in future emails.
Don’t forget to include links to your donation pages or your text-to-give number in your emails. This further promotes your gifts and makes it easy for people to donate quickly.
Donor segmentation is a key communication technique to reach out to your donors through their mobile devices. Make sure you are using it effectively!
Have you ever hosted a silent auction? You probably had pieces of paper next to your giveaway items for people to bid on. This is a makes for a fun event, but what about the people who couldn’t make it to your auction?
New technology has made it possible to combine silent auctions with mobile software and appeal to everyone who wants to be involved with this classic fundraising effort.
Mobile bidding is a great silent auction tool because:
- Payments are easily made. The payments for the winners of the auction can be made quickly and easily through a supporter’s mobile device.
- People can bid from anywhere. A supporter doesn’t need to be physically at the event to participate. They can put their name in for items from home, vacation, etc.
- People can watch their competitors more easily. Mobile devices make it easy for supporters to watch their items constantly to ensure they don’t get outbid, ultimately driving up the donation amounts.
You can choose to host an in-person event and gather supporters with a silent auction through mobile devices. This fundraiser allows people to mingle, eat, etc. while still watching their bids.
You may also choose to host the auction completely online and encourage donations from all over the country!
So many organizations could boost their donation amounts heavily through the implementation of simple mobile giving methods. Try these 6 strategies today to reach your organization’s full potential!