Times have changed: has your nonprofit?

Part two of a three part series on mobile giving

People use their cell phones day and night. Many use iPads or other tablets. Gone is the phone booth, and for many, gone is the checkbook. Communication and financial transactions take place online , in real time, while people are on the move. It’s all about being mobile.

We talked with Dave Asheim, CEO of Give by Cell to learn what nonprofits need to know as they go mobile. Asheim started our conversation with a few facts about mobile giving. “Five years ago the cutting edge in fundraising was to send a text message encouraging people to give to a cause. Now there are more ways to donate, and even more importantly, more ways to connect.”

“Today people can give $5 or $10 donations by text, with the charge applied to their mobile phone bill… Beginning in early 2013 the regulations around mobile giving should change allowing supporters to make gifts of up to $25 and they can set-up recurring donations. This means they can use their cell phone one time to make a gift of $25 a month every month or for a specific period of time. This process of texting a gift is commonly referred to as ‘mobile giving’.”

Asheim continued with information that goes beyond traditional mobile giving. “The phrase “mobile donate” refers to giving via a page that is customized for mobile devices. Here’s how it works: Ask your supporters to send a text to a specific number. Once they text they receive a link to your mobile donate page. They can then use that page to give any amount. It could be $10, $100, $10,000 or more. The choice is theirs. The mobile donate page is designed specifically for mobile devices so it loads quickly and easily allowing people to give in the moment.”

“It is the same as giving using a laptop or desktop computer and giving through the “donate now” button on a website. The difference: you do it using your phone or tablet. It’s just like buying a book on Amazon. It was unusual four years ago but now it is commonplace in many communities.”

“To see an example of mobile donating send a text to 56512 and enter the key word GIVENOW. See what happens! You can make a gift with your cell phone by texting the word CALL to have a rep call the donor to collect a pledge, or you can make a gift right now by following the link. Typical mobile donate gifts are around $100, but some organizations are finding people will give more, depending upon their interest and capacity. Many will give the same amount using their cell phone or mobile device as they would by check or via their laptop.

Next post: technical details on mobile giving. Learn more at www.givebycell.com.


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