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Cassie Bair

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Luck of the Mobile: Don't Need Leprechauns to Deliver Mobile "Gold"

Posted by Cassie Bair on Mar 28, 2013 6:10:00 AM

mgive leprechanLegend is, if you catch a Leprechaun he has to give you all the gold you request.  That’s why Leprechauns are careful to make you think that they have just one pot of gold.  Leprechauns actually have vast storehouses of gold, according to Martin Nelson Burton, author of, Dear Mr. Leprechaun:  Letters from My First Friendship.

But when it comes to finding treasure of mobile outreach, you don’t have to catch a leprechaun to gain all the communication “gold” you want because mGive is here.  And we are more cooperative than Leprechauns. We’re happy to share our treasure trove of knowledge in setting up mobile campaigns.

The first nugget of gold: text-to-donate fundraising won’t threaten other contribution sources.  Some nonprofits worry that mobile fundraising will “cannibalize” traditional fundraising activities, but that’s untrue.  Our 2012 mGive Text Giving Study showed that 85 percent of mobile donors said they are inclined to give larger amounts AND through other channels in addition to mobile.

A bigger gold nugget: consumers want to do more than donate through mobile. In our study, nearly 40 percent said they wanted to receive text messages from nonprofits on multiple topics, not just donation information.

This was recently demonstrated by mGive client the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) who offered to text people, who signed up on their website, with immediate alerts when a new pope had been elected.  FOCUS expected a few thousand, but nearly 87,000 had signed up for the text message alert by the time white smoke was issuing from the Vatican.

It’s clear: people see their mobile devices as their portal to the world.

According to a November 2012 Pew Internet and American Life project report:

“[cell phones] mean many things to their owners: an always-available link to friends and family, a pocket computer, or a time-saving tool— even an actual telephone.”

Proof of how ingrained cell phones are into our daily life, Pew reports that 68 percent of cell phone owners check their phones even when they don’t feel it vibrating or ringing.  With all those people reaching for their phones, it’s no wonder text message open rates soar at 97 percent (compared to email at 14 percent).  The message they could be eagerly checking for could be yours.

So here are some nuggets about how you can be using mobile in your outreach:

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    Topics: Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Advanced, Mobile Engagement

    mGive Case Study: United Way Trots Mobile Out for Annual Event

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Mar 21, 2013 10:26:00 AM


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    Organization: Mile High United Way

    The Challenge: What would you do if you had 10,000 eager race attendants, ready to take action for your organization?

    The Solution: Connect with your audience in the most powerful way possible - by tapping into them through their phone to spark their interest in your cause and hold their attention even after the event is over. In other words, create a mobile community for volunteers, race participants, and supporters in order to cultivate relationships and create long-term donors.

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    Topics: Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Advanced, Mobile Engagement, Case Study

    Mobile Makes Poetry

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Feb 14, 2013 7:55:00 AM

    Mobile Makes Poetry When love and mobile connect to solve social problems, it’s poetry. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a story about how love, poetry and mobile came together—across the country, in a matter of hours—to spread love.

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Education, Advanced

    The Ravens Aren't the Only Ones Celebrating

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Feb 4, 2013 7:35:00 AM

    As the Ravens revel in the Super Bowl win and fans everywhere recover from the festivities, mGive celebrates another type of victory. On February 3, during Super Bowl XLVII, the Wounded Warrior Project tapped into the tendency of football fans everywhere to have their phones in-hand and asked viewers to become everyday philanthropists by making a $10 text donation. (Check out the heart-tugging PSA here.)

    This marked five years since the launch of the very first text campaign - also promoted at the Super Bowl!  In 2008, when the Giants and the Patriots faced off, football fans everywhere pulled out their phones and with simple text communication helped kids stay fit by supporting United Way. That very first call-to-action in the U.S. launched a platform that changed fundraising and started a revolution of philanthropic giving.

    However, it doesn’t take a Super Bowl ad to tap into the power of rallying the masses in a moment’s notice. Groups like the United Way and Wounded Warrior Project just remind us how powerful the mobile channel can be. We constantly work to ensure that mGive gives every nonprofit that same powerhouse to tap into - no matter what opportunity is before them.

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Mobile Fun, Advanced

    One Movement, Three Ways to Give

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Nov 13, 2012 9:17:00 AM

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Advanced, Innovation and Creativity

    Superstorm Sandy: How You Can Help

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Nov 3, 2012 3:05:00 AM

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Intermediate, Disaster Relief

    Mobile Phones are Your Lifeline in a Disaster

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Oct 29, 2012 6:36:00 AM

    Phones are lifelines resized 600Hurricane Sandy is predicted to be a life threatening storm for the U.S. Millions of people are likely to be impacted. Most will reach for their mobile phone out of habit to get the latest news on the storm, their communities and loved ones through calls, internet, text, social media and more. But at a time when the power could be out for days, it's important to be smart about how you use your mobile device. Use these 8 tips to maximize your most valuable resource for communication - your mobile phone.

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    Topics: Social Good, Intermediate, Disaster Relief

    Is Mobile Contributing to Your Existing Database?

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Oct 27, 2012 3:19:00 AM

    existing database resized 600The U.S. is mobile—literally. Mobile penetration in America is above 100 percent (CTIA). But even as people increase their number of mobile devices, many nonprofits are still hesitating about adding mobile as a staple to their organization's initiatives. The hesitancy comes from misconceptions such as what information can be collected from SMS based campaigns, how data correlates to existing databases and the general feel that mobile can be a lot of work with little return.

    The fact is, mobile is no longer just an exciting new addition to fundraising or engagement, but a tool that supporters expect you to have. And the data around mobile proves it is a worthwhile venture for many nonprofits – beyond times of disaster. An organization focused on statistics and analytics will likely tell you that more than 20% of their web traffic comes from a mobile device. And a nonprofit using mobile tactics will tell you those users are generally more engaged online, through SMS, and donate via text as well as in other ways.

    Before the thought of adding yet another piece to your fundraising puzzle becomes too daunting, here are a few important points about mobile data from mGive and The mGive Foundation.

    1.) Every potential donor in the U.S. has a mobile device within arm’s reach at this very moment.

    Many nonprofits falsely view their email database as the most accurate address to use. Take a look at your database. How many emails do you have per supporters? How many of those emails are dead ends? Today, people average about three email addresses compared to one mobile number.

    According to the 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks study, email lists have a churn rate of 19 percent and open rates of 14 percent compared to text message open rates soaring at 97 percent. Mobile phone numbers often stay with a person five years or more, which indicates that mobile is becoming a better unique identifier in your CRM database than email addresses.

    How many of you have left emails unread compared to how many text messages you have left unread? The answer is probably “a lot” – and an organization reviewing database reports would not be the least bit surprised. Text can be used as a point of contact with supporters, as well as drive them to open emails for more comprehensive information. So the next time you want to reach a supporter, do you do it only through email? Or do you consider the fact that mobile is truly at their fingertips – and what that could mean for all of your communication activities?

    2.) Engage your next live audience through mobile – and then add the info to your database.

    Asking people to fill out a form or take an online poll still works in the traditional sense, but what if you could capture the information via mobile? And even better, what if you could collect the data shared in the heat of the moment vs. only when someone is online? And then use that data to drive awareness, giving and more when you combine it with information you already have about your supporters?

    Organizations can use mobile to conduct polls, receive live feedback at events, track open rates of text campaigns, generate ROI for social media through giving apps and social sharing options, plus so much more. In addition, nonprofits can gain a broader and deeper understanding of their supporters when combining mobile behaviors with more traditional information probably already housed in your CRM system.

    3.) Mobile is a pivot point for influencing supporter behavior.

    The mobile device is a hub of activity for many people in the U.S. If your supporters own a mobile phone, they likely have a smartphone or will soon. And most probably use it for text, to visit websites, to post to social media sites, to email, to share photos and videos – and occasionally actually take or make a phone call.

    If you could determine what supporters are doing, how they are doing it, when they are doing it and then ask for them to take an action through mobile, you may be surprised at the results. So collect what you can, when you can about mobile behavior to run more robust reports and drive additional engagement.

    4.) It’s easy to determine how a donor feels about your organization.

    Mobile engagement creates a more personal relationship between you and your donor, but it’s a relationship that you can measure. When your organization sends out a mobile call to action, the feedback you receive is more immediate and complete, allowing you to tailor your fundraising strategy for better results. By measuring opt-ins, click through to links, donations, and even opt-out numbers, you can more closely monitor the temperature of your donor pool, to create tactics that resonate.

    Capitalizing on this mobile revolution is not just about increasing mobile databases or building more robust donor profiles, it’s about better ways to change the world. It has never been easier for donors to help those in need with just a few clicks on their cell phone. Mobile allows everyone to become an everyday philanthropist and for your organization to benefit from the results.

    Not sure where to get started with a mobile strategy? First, start by changing every form (online and offline) to capture a mobile number. Chances are, that’s the information you are collecting anyway but you may not have it labeled correctly in your system. If your data is only as good as what you put into your database, you want to make sure you are putting it in correctly!

    Once you start collected mobile data, start reviewing the profiles of donors and supporters with mobile numbers flagged in your system. You may be surprised at the trends around age ranges, giving rates, volunteer hours and more. That valuable information will guide you down the path of an effective mobile strategy for your organization.

    Cassie Bair is the VP of Marketing at Mobile Accord. Cassie has worked with many U.S. nonprofits leading marketing, strategic partnership, mobile and cause marketing initiatives. mGive, a Mobile Accord service, educates, engages and empowers nonprofits and their stakeholders through our groundbreaking utilization of SMS (text message) technology. Contact Cassie on Twitter (@Bairings) or by texting CASSIE to 50555. Message and Data rates may apply. 

    Jenifer Snyder is the Executive Director of The mGive Foundation. The mGive Foundation furthers the mobile channel for social good through education and policy initiatives while supporting mGive clients engaged in mobile campaigns. Text JEN to 50555 for Jenifer’s mCard. Message and Data rates may apply. 
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    Topics: Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Advanced, Mobile Research, Mobile Engagement

    Ask and You Shall Receive: mGive's New Tools

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Oct 23, 2012 1:48:00 AM

    Here at mGive, we take great stock in what our clients say they wish they could do with mobile. It's a common topic of conversation internally and a place of great debate as we determine our product activities and how to move forward. Today we are excited to announce two products that are officially available to clients, as well as let you know there are more on the way!

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Advanced, Mobile Engagement

    Holiday Planning (should be) In Full Swing

    Posted by Cassie Bair on Oct 10, 2012 4:48:00 AM

    describe the imagePools are closed, kids are back in school and soon the holidays will be upon us! We are getting lots of calls about holiday planning, with folks asking the best way to prepare their mobile activities for the giving season. So we thought we'd share some insight on that particular topic.

    Our number one recommendation? Before you begin executing holiday plans, think about how you’ll ensure every communication and/or touch-point to supporters during this - the busiest season for non-profits - makes the biggest impact.

    Of course, every communication you deploy should have a primary, relevant message. But at the same time, every communication should attempt to get supporters opted in to your mobile list(s). For example, your next fundraising luncheon or dinner is sure to have new members of the community in attendance. A simple napkin band message asking them to sign up for future alerts and to become part of your mobile community could foster that relationship and turn an interested individual into loyal supporter. Nudge them along with a well executed call-to-action from the stage and a gentle reminder as you are networking in the crowd to ensure you grow your mobile list. Message them steadily and regularly in order to build involvement and donation activity.

    Let’s face it, this is the time of year for giving. And if you don’t set your programs up for success, someone else will be getting that support – whether it is monetary, volunteer or other. So while you begin to plan your digital and printed holiday cards, newsletters, social media posts and even holiday events, be sure to include easy access to your mobile list registration.

    mGive mTip: Holiday List-building

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    Topics: Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Advanced, Mobile Engagement

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