How Non-profits Can Use Mobile to Get Donors


    We live in a mobile driven world. Recent market research indicates 90 percent of the world population over the age of 6 will have a mobile phone by 2020. This means we have to adapt to a society that relies heavily on mobile to address wants and needs.

    What does this have to do with your non-profit? Well, if you want people to notice you, and more importantly, support your organization then you have to be mobile- friendly. Simply put, mobile gets traffic. Currently, one-quarter of global web searches are conducted on a mobile device and smartphone users are engaging with mobile websites and apps while doing just about everything: watching TV, cooking dinner, attending a concert or sporting event, and even while using a desktop computer at the same time.

    Mobile-friendly Website

    Last year Google staff announced through their Hummingbird update (an update on their search algorithm) that the future of search will be all about mobile and websites that are not user-friendly on handheld devices will see their search rank suffer. So although it may seem like just another added chore, if your non-profit website is not mobile friendly then you should make it so. Technology experts say you will likely attract new, young donors as a result.

    Social Media

    Even with a great website you still need to know exactly where your donors are. Social media is a great way to fundraise in this new tech-centric world. In order to meet donors where they are, you have to first do a little bit of research and figure out who your audience is and where they are likely to spend their time. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to just spray Facebook and Twitter with your message and hope to hit the right people.

    Online Donations & Crowdfunding

    Online giving tools for non-profits are a growing technology sector and many seem to work for mobile users. Cause.com, DonorChoose, and FirstGiving are examples. There are numerous options and it can become overwhelming to decide which is the best for you. Sometimes seeing how online tools have helped other organizations can help steer your non-profit in the right direction. This may or may not apply to your particular non-profit but as an example, the Detroit Zoo has used GiveSmart, which is a mobile bidding and event management tool. They’ve used it for their Sunset at the Zoo silent auction and report that in the first year revenue rose by 32 percent.

    Here are some potential options to think about:

    PayPal – offers a service to help non-profits with online donations. If you have someone on staff that knows HTML, PayPal’s donation buttons will allow you to gather donor information.

    Instagram – add a clickable link that leads to your donation site. Many non-profits are now using this photo-sharing site.

    POS device – this is a device that accepts credit cards wherever you are. A square is an example of a small device that simply attaches to your cell phone to accept payments.

    Crowdfunding platforms – consider a platform that is mobile friendly. There are numerous to choose from. Canadahelps.org, Fundrazr, and GiveMeaning are all Canadian based crowdsourcing avenues. CauseVox is a New York City based crowdsourcing platform, and Crowdrise is named among the best global crowd based online tools.

    More giving happens as people are on the move so mobile-ready crowdfunding platforms and social media channels are a good way to guide these people in supporting your non-profit. It may all start with your non-profits own mobile-friendly website but there is a lot you can offer a potential audience and even more to gain if you can connect with them. Think back to when you were first introduced to the digital world through your desktop or laptop. It was likely a little overwhelming at first, but you got the hang of it right? Mobile is really just an extension of that; a small, yet powerful step in the evolution of our digital lifestyles.

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