3 Ways Brands Are Using Mobile To Power Donations And Fundraising
In the past, charitable giving meant researching a cause, finding a worthy charity, and then writing and mailing a check. Door to door, galas and even 1-800 numbers enjoyed (and still do) their day in the sun as a way to provide donations.
But because this process can mean a significant time commitment, charitable organizations haven’t always been able to benefit from those people who want to donate but aren’t willing to spend the time doing so.
Mobile has changed all of that, which means huge opportunities for organizations that include mobile as a key component of their fundraising strategies. Today, one in three people in the U.S. uses a mobile device as the primary tool to access the Internet, and those numbers are steadily rising. From content to coupons to contacts, mobile phones are a constant companion, encyclopedia, and, now—wallet.
Charitable giving no longer has to await a check, a 5K run or a pledge drive. Why? Because mobile bridges awareness of a cause with immediate action.
According to Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, in 2012, 1 in 5 U.S. adults had made a charitable contribution online and 1 in 10 has made a charitable contribution through mobile texting. With these numbers are both steadily rising, there are several ways brands can take action.
1. Marry mobile donations with fundraising galas.
Last year, an Arkansas-based children’s shelter used mobile as the primary donation vehicle at their annual fundraising gala. Throughout the evening, they used on-screen messaging to prompt audience members to donate using their mobile devices through a simply vanity code. The event raised nearly half a million dollars, which represented an increase of more than a third over what they raised the prior year.
2. Use sponsorships as a platform to improve mobile donation engagement.
Sometimes, finding the proper time to encourage donations can be just as important as the method of requesting. A major CPG brand will be using its sponsorship of the 2014 Olympics to increase donations with a global audience—strictly using mobile. And there’s nothing like the Olympics to bring feelings of togetherness, patriotism and charity. During the sponsorship period, the brand will tell audiences to call a branded number from their mobile device. For every call, they will donate a meal to a hungry child in need. Because consumers can easily do this, whenever, wherever, both the brand and the charity expect to receive significant exposure and donations.
3. Integrate celebrity spokespeople with mobile initiatives.
Star personalities continued to be the backbone of major fundraising campaigns and notoriously aid in raising significant amounts of money. But the age of reality TV and social media, celebrities actually have more power than ever before to mobilize and engage large masses of people—whether it’s via Twitter, TV, or their own appearances and websites. Recently, Zynga offered mobile users a chance play their popular Words With Friends game against John Legend, Snoop Lion or Eva Longoria in their first-ever Words With Friends Celebrity Challenge, and gave up to $500,000 to charity based on game results. Zynga smartly capitalized on an already-mobile gaming audience to insert charity into the equation.
Timing and message delivery has always played a large role it the donation strategy, but inserting mobile as the vehicle to make donations easy, engaging and even fun, will ensure that your audience not only has the chance to be a part of something philanthropic, but to be able to instantly donate to the cause.