Fundraising on Mobile Phones, from IFC 2011

Mr. Nick Allen and Mr. Roland Csaki started their presentation with a statistic: more people on earth now have access to a mobile phone than have a computer.

And while traditional mobile campaigns have worked well for large campaigns that have built-in visibility (ie a presidential campaign and the Haiti fundraising effort), it has been somewhat difficult for other organizations to tap into the potential of mobile giving.

But mobile strategies and more than simply acquiring donors through mobile and having them pay via mobile. Here are four other possibilities:

  • Payment method for other channels (DRTV / outdoor, ec.)
  • Generate leads for telemarketing
  •  Improve donor retention
  • Cyber action / activism

Many of these alternate strategies are also better for turning a one-time donor into a continuous partner. One of the key points that speakers made was that ‘mobile marketing is not about the mobile phone – but about people becoming mobile.’

So how to adopt to the mobile age? First, determine what your supporters are looking for from you on their mobile. Perhaps your website person will be able to track which pages on your website and being accessed via mobile. Next, ensure that mobile is integrated with other channels. Lastly, ensure that content and visuals are mobile friendly and don’t require resizing or other manipulation.

Another key point was to try and shorten the time delay between someone deciding to make a gift and the act of fulfilling that decision.

Amnesty Denmark has been running an SMS activism program that is coordinated jointly by the fundraising and activism teams. Their 2,800 subscribers receive 2-3 action items each month. In addition, they are sent appeals for funding periodically (four times per year). Key to this, I believe, is having the program seen as both activism and fundraising.

Here’s a link to some information about a campaign in London that is very similar to one run in Slovenia with great success. UNICEF ran a campaign in Slovenia to raise money for homeless children in Rwanda. Full-size cutouts of homeless children from Rwanda were printed (along with information on how to donate) and placed on a busy shopping street. As it would cost €200 to support a child, for each €200 raised, they removed one of the cutouts. It generated significant media exposure – and raised €150,000 in a very short time period.

How are you using mobile? Does this give you any ideas?

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