Insights to Power Social Good

mSpiration: 7 Golden Rules for nonprofits with a Mobile Twist

Posted by Elizabeth Same on Feb 6, 2014 1:53:18 PM


7-golden-rules-of-nonprofits-with-mobile-twistHappy Thursday! We stumbled on an Entrepreneur article from 2010 with some really great advice that is still applicable in 2014. So in honor of the #ThrowbackThursday tradition, this week’s mSpiration is all about the7 Golden Rules for Nonprofit Fundraising Success…with an mGive mobile twist.

The article is an excerpt (and condensed version) from the book Guerrilla Marketing for Nonprofits by Jay Conrad, Chris Forbes and Frank Adkins. We loved all of the tips they shared, and all of them are ‘golden rules’ for any fundraising channel you would use, but work especially well with mobile.

mGive note: Although this list is focused on ‘donors’ we believe you can use these tips to engage your volunteers and other supporters to cultivate them into cause champions and loyal individual donors as well.

1. Know Your Donors: “Having a good knowledge of your donors and their contributing habits is key to persuading them to donate their money.”

mTip: Use mobile to learn more about your individual constituents. Ask your supporters to join your mobile community and use mobile web forms and polls to build robust supporter profiles. The 2013 mGive Text Donation Study reports that 37% of mobile donors want to receive messages about news and updates from nonprofit organizations, 33% were interested in volunteer information, and 70% want donor updates (!)                  

2. Educate Your Donors:  “People want to know they are helping to bring about a positive change. They may generously donate money, or volunteer their time, but deep down their prime interest is seeing what impact they can make. You [should] reach out to them and keep the lines of communication open – not always asking for help, but showing the results of their support.”

mTip: Everyone has that “friend” that only reaches out when they need something; don’t just send a text message when you are asking for donations. Keep your community involved in what you are doing. How did your last fundraising campaign perform? How many people will benefit from your supporters’ generous donations? How will two hours of volunteer time benefit the local community? Your audience wants to know what is happening with your nonprofit, so keep them connected. Our clients have seen conversion rates jump from one percent to 24 percent by sending timed informational text messages within a week of solicitation messages.

3. Help Donors Find Personal Fulfillment: “People want to make a difference. They are seeking personal fulfillment through supporting your cause. When your organization can find a way to help people solve their problems of finding fulfillment through charity work, they will be more willing to jump on board to help your cause.”

mTip: This goes right along with thanking your supporters. Whether they volunteered an hour or made a donation, make sure they are appreciated and want to help you out again. Remind them that they are important, and they will continue to champion your cause. A simple “thank you” can mean the world to some and more support down the road. 

4. Build Trust in Donor Relationships: Be honest and transparent.

mTip: This one is straightforward, but it is important. Mobile is an honest and trustworthy engagement and fundraising channel. The carriers have strict rules about how this channel is used, so only reputable and nonprofits in good financial standing can use this channel to solicit donations. Use your compliance language and don’t forget to tell your donors how their money is being used.

5. Respect Your Donors: Don’t just say you care about your donors - prove it. “Your marketing can say all the right words and tell donors how important they are to you, but unless you take steps beyond those words, they won’t believe you.”

mTip: What do your supporters want to hear about? You may think you have them segmented, and you may be right, but taking the time to ask them will go a long way. Send out a poll asking your community what they want to hear about, and then use that information to send segmented and targeted messages that will carry more of an impact.

6. Focus on Current Supporters: “Did you know it costs five times as much to raise a donation from a new donor than from an existing one? That’s why it is so important to keep in touch with your current donors.” 

mTip: ‘Retention is the new acquisition’, and mobile is an excellent tool for that. Schedule your message for the whole year so you ensure that every supporter in your mobile community hears from you once a month. Share organizational information, interesting statistics and don’t forget to thank them just for being a part of your community.

7. Make Giving Fun: “It’s no secret that your organization has to do something different to get the attention of donors. Nothing gets people’s attention better than a little fun.”

mTip: Mobile is everywhere, so most everything you do can have a mobile component. Don’t limit yourself to just sending text messages and asking for text donations. Try mobile polling or integrating mobile with you social media channels. Talk with your account manager on interesting ways to use mobile!

We couldn’t fit all of the great tips in this blog post, so check out the full blog too! What are some of your golden rules for 2014? Share them in the comments below.

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