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:

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

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

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

    mblog Turkey Trot Start Line  300x200 resized 600

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

    Luck of the Mobile: 6 Lucky Tricks to Increase Your Support Base Instantly

    Posted by mGive Team on Mar 16, 2013 10:00:00 PM

    mblog 6 lucky tips to increase your support base instantly 200x300 resized 600Do you have the “luck of the Irish” when it comes to using mobile to build solid relationships with supporters? Luck likely has nothing to do with it. As Obi-Wan Kenobi told a skeptical Han Solo, “In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.”

    So how do you get “lucky” with mobile outreach? Relax – you don’t need to be Irish or learn the ways of the Force. Good “luck” in mobile means cultivating prospects and supporters all the time, not just when asking for a donation. “Luck” comes from sharing information and news and keeping supporters engaged in your organization.

    This is a lesson that political campaigns have learned well.

    According to Pew Research findings on the 2012 election cycle, nearly 90 percent of registered voters have cell phones; 75 percent of those voters use text. 45 percent of those with smartphones used them to read about election news on social networking sites.

    No wonder presidential campaigns in 2012 expanded their mobile communication to include text donations, list building, geo-targeted ads, mobile web sites, apps and videos to connect with voters through their phones.

    One political consultant, Paul Bremer, of Rhythm NewMedia, told Mobile Marketer that mobile has clear advantages over other forms of communications. “Mobile devices are single task in nature and lend themselves to a more immersive experience than online or TV,” he said.

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

    Luck of the Mobile: Leprechauns and Rainbows Not Needed for Pot of Mobile Gold

    Posted by mGive Team on Mar 14, 2013 7:42:00 AM

    mGive text me im irish resized 600Ask any child what’s at the end of the rainbow and they’ll quickly say “a pot of gold,” stashed there by a tricky leprechaun.  As St. Patrick’s Day nears, as with all things Irish, imaginations turn to hidden treasures.  But, when it comes to finding the hidden prize in mobile outreach, you don’t need the luck of the Irish and a rainbow doesn’t point the way.  What you need instead is a little know-how so mobile technology can help you reach out and build better relationships with your donors and supporters.

    Take, for instance, the successful integration of mobile outreach used by Mile High United Way in Denver as part of its 39th annual Turkey Trot race last Thanksgiving which attracted nearly 10,000 people.  The Turkey Trot was highly successful, and not because of luck.  Success came because Mile High United Way strategically used mobile outreach to connect with its volunteers, supporters, and also with people who were just attending, but weren’t registered with United Way previously. Mile High United Way used mobile to increase human interaction during the event and build a more lasting relationship with supporters long after it was over.

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

    Re-connect Beyond the Month of Love

    Posted by Elizabeth Same on Feb 25, 2013 1:27:00 PM

    Brigette 2 resized 600Similar to most holidays, Valentine’s Day includes a lot of build-up,     anticipation and planning – and then it’s over. This sometimes mirrors the big push before a gala or fundraising campaign. It’s easy to focus on your loved ones on the big holidays. But the question I always wrestle with is “How do I keep the connection all year long?”

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

    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, Advanced, Education

    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, Advanced, Mobile Fun

    One Movement, Three Ways to Give

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

    Giving Tuesday resized 600
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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Advanced, Innovation and Creativity

    Year-End Wrap-up!

    Posted by mGive Team on Oct 29, 2012 11:08:00 AM

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    Topics: Mobile Fundraising, Social Good, Advanced

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

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