Insights to Power Social Good

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:

  1. Reactivate lapsed donors – especially those whose email addresses have gone “bad.”  People tend to have three email addresses but only one mobile phone number;
  2. Toy or food drive donations;
  3. Surveys and quizzes;
  4. Drive traffic to social media assets;
  5. Keep supporters better informed;
  6. Share volunteer information;
  7. Call to action for advocacy.

And here’s the clincher – you can do all this while people are self-motivated to engage – not just when they are online or have time to talk to a live person.  The availability and ease of mobile phones make it possible for people to act when their hearts most demand it.

Using mobile communication in your outreach is effective.  Determining the best ways to integrate mobile into that outreach depends on goals, audience, timeframe, message and other variables.  But you don’t have to figure that out on your own – mGive’s support system offers our expertise and “best practices” so you can find that pot of mobile gold that provides the most riches for your organization. Unlike Leprechauns we don’t want to keep all our treasure hidden from you. We want to provide access to mobile gold.


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

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