Insights to Power Social Good

Gather Your Crowd: Optimize Fundraising Efforts with CrowdActivation

Posted by Cassie Bair on Aug 3, 2012 2:32:00 AM


describe the imageIn the world of fundraising, your crowd can be anywhere. They can be together at an event, in your database or somewhere yet to be discovered. As fundraisers, it’s our job to find them and activate them using a technique we at mGive call CrowdActivationSM.

The term CrowdActivation was derived from the recent trend of crowd funding, defined by Wikipedia as the “collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together.” But because fundraising is essentially crowd funding, we believe nonprofits need to take it to the next level. And, with the use of mobile technology, CrowdActivation can be simplified and optimized for donations and more.

CrowdActivation at an event

You’ve got your crowd right in front of you. Now activate them! Sounds simple, right? Well it is. Suppose you have a crowd of 5,000 people gathered in a park for a walk event. As the president of the organization addresses the crowd, he/she may point out that you are at 95% of your $100,000.00 fundraising goal. And, if everyone here would text GOAL to XXXXX and donate just $5.00 more you would reach your goal instantly. Amazingly, people reach into their pockets and take out their phones. See, it is simple.

But what if your goal wasn’t just to raise money? What if your organization needs volunteers? You could simply ask those who were interested to text VOLUNTEER to XXXXX. They could then get a response with a link where they could find out more and register to volunteer.

Activating your database

Many commercial organizations have quickly realized it’s much more cost effective to get additional business from existing customers than attempting to acquire or convert new customers. The exponential growth of customer relationship marketing (CRM) and loyalty marketing efforts is proof. And the same goes for nonprofits. In fact, the list you have may be more valuable than you thought. These folks have already showed interest in your efforts and may be sitting idle until you take the next step. Try segmenting your list by donors, volunteers and other categories to get them activated. A simple text message may be all you need to get them to become a donor or volunteer again.

Activating the World

So long as you accept the fact that you won’t get everyone, the results can be astonishing. By leveraging your existing lists with other traditional and direct marketing tactics, you can create a message primed for viral success.

For example, a local nonprofit healthcare facility is building a new wing and needs community support. They send a text message to current supporters that leads to a webpage where they can donate, forward the message to others, share the message socially and more. At the same time, a local outdoor advertising campaign running on billboards and bus sides asks people to text BUILD to XXXXX to donate $10 or text CONTRIBUTE  to XXXXX to find out other ways they can help. In addition, they work with corporate partners on a text donation matching campaign to have more dollar-per-dollar impact.

But say they don’t stop there. They do a call-to-action for volunteers, using a different keyword, messaging and segmentation. And they do a call for in-kind donation of goods needed. That is another integrated call-to-action, using the same techniques as above. Before long, their CrowdActivation activities may have yielded thousands in donations, as well as thousands saved in labor, goods and services.

Embracing the CrowdActivation concept and executing simple, yet effective tactics with mobile technology can deliver instant results. The world is your crowd. Activate them.

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. 

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

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