Mobile Fundraising: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

Jay Love

August 8, 2022

About the Author

Jay Love

Co-Founder and current Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang He has served this sector for 33 years and is considered the most well-known senior statesman whose advice is sought constantly. Prior to Bloomerang, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of eTapestry for 11 years, which at the time was the leading SaaS technology company serving the charity sector. Jay and his team grew the company to more than 10,000 nonprofit clients, charting a decade of record growth. He is a graduate of Butler University with a B.S. in Business Administration. Over the years, he has given more than 2,500 speeches around the world for the charity sector and is often the voice of new technology for fundraisers.

Eighty-five percent of Americans own a smartphone, and studies have shown that they check those phones about 96 times a day. In addition to browsing on social media platforms, catching up with the news, and shopping online, many mobile users are also using their phones to connect with their favorite nonprofits. 

To connect with supporters via their mobile devices, your nonprofit should create a mobile-focused fundraising strategy that appeals to supporters’ preferences and aims to increase mobile donations. In this guide, we’ll explore why you should include mobile fundraising strategies in your overall fundraising plan and how to plan more effective mobile campaigns. We’ll cover: 

Reaching out to supporters on mobile platforms can help you strengthen your overall fundraising efforts, whether you’re sending an annual appeal or looking for immediate help to weather a crisis. Let’s take a look at a few other reasons why mobile fundraising campaigns are important.  

Why is mobile fundraising important?

Mobile fundraising involves the marketing and fundraising campaigns that you design specifically with mobile devices in mind or, rather, campaigns where your main outreach strategy is to reach donors via their mobile devices. These statistics explain why mobile fundraising is so important for nonprofits: 

Examples of mobile fundraising campaigns

There are a variety of fundraising tips and tools that you can use to support your mobile fundraising efforts. 

Mobile-responsive donation pages

Your online donation form allows donors to make a donation online. When you optimize your online donation page for mobile devices as well as desktops and tablets, you can give all donors a positive online donation experience by making it as easy as possible for them to donate from their phones.

Follow these tips to create a mobile-optimized donation form:

  • Look at your donation form in the mobile view to make sure everything is formatted correctly.
  • Make sure the font size is large enough to be comfortably read on mobile devices.
  • Only ask for necessary information, such as donors’ names, contact information, and payment information, to keep the form as simple to fill out as possible. 

You should link to your mobile-responsive donation pages in all of your online fundraising campaigns so that donors can easily give from their mobile devices. This page is especially effective for text-to-give campaigns, social media outreach, and event fundraising. 

Text-to-give campaigns

A text-to-give campaign allows you to connect with supporters via text message and send them a link to donate directly from their phones. Here’s how these campaigns work: 

  1. Your organization partners with a text-to-donate provider. 
  2. You choose a keyword and receive a dedicated text-to-give phone number. 
  3. Supporters text the keyword to the number and receive a link to your mobile-responsive donation form.
  4. Supporters fill out the form and submit their donations. 

Depending on the text-to-give platform that you use, donors may also be able to text their donation amount to your number and receive a link to your donation form to fill in the rest of their payment information. Both options provide a convenient way for donors to give without having to visit your website and look for your online donation page. 

Social media campaigns

Seventy-eight percent of social media users access social media platforms using their mobile devices. Here are a few platforms that you can use for a social media campaign:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • LinkedIn

Your fundraising and posting strategy will vary depending on what platform you use because every platform has different features. For example, you’ll want to use vertical videos on social media platforms where video is the main way users interact with each other. This will make it easier for them to watch the videos on their phones. 

Fundraising events

At your in-person events, you should encourage attendees to pull out their phones and text a keyword to your text-to-give number. If you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid event, include your text-to-give number somewhere on the screen to encourage attendees to contribute during the event without having to switch tabs. 

How to launch a successful mobile fundraising campaign

When establishing mobile fundraising guidelines for your team or expanding your mobile fundraising strategies, there are a few best practices you’ll want to keep in mind. These best practices will help you launch a successful mobile fundraising campaign that drives donations and engages donors for the long term.

Choose the right fundraising platform. 

An online fundraising platform will help you create a mobile-responsive giving page, process donations, launch text-to-give campaigns, manage marketing initiatives, and more. 

Check out Bloomerang’s roundup of top virtual fundraising platforms to find the right solution for your organization. Choose the platform that meets your needs, is easy to use, and fits your budget. 

Market your mobile fundraising options. 

Market your mobile giving opportunities by including your mobile-friendly donation form in your social media posts and emails and incorporating your text-to-give number into outreach campaigns. Also, put social media sharing buttons throughout your website to encourage visitors to connect with you on these mobile-focused platforms. 

For example, when planning a text-to-give campaign, choose a concise, easy-to-remember keyword that’s relevant to your campaign. So, if you’re raising funds to support honey bee conservation, your keyword might be “SavetheBees.” 

Follow up with donors to show your appreciation. 

After donors give, show your appreciation by reaching out and thanking them. This will help boost your donor retention rate, which is the rate at which one-time donors give again. 

Use your online donation platform and constituent relationship management system (CRM) to collect and store donors’ names and contact information. Then, send personalized follow-up messages thanking them for their support and provide updates on your fundraising progress and how you’re using their gifts. Be sure to send thank you messages using your text platform to reach donors on their mobile devices, providing closure for the campaign. 

More and more people use their phones as their primary way to connect online. In fact, 15% of Americans are considered “smartphone-only users,” meaning they own a cell phone but do not have broadband service. That means mobile fundraising should be a priority for your nonprofit.

Creating a mobile-focused fundraising strategy allows your nonprofit to appeal to supporters’ desires for a convenient way to make a mobile donation.

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