For profit, businesses aren’t the only enterprises that can boost revenue and increase customer loyalty and retention with technology. Here’s a look at how some new technologies can maximize your fundraising efforts:
Mobile is mainstream. The latest mobile ownership and use figures released by Pew Research Center reveal that 64 percent of American adults now own a smartphone. Among Americans who have a higher income, are highly educated or younger, the ownership figures are even more robust. For marketers of all kinds, mass mobile reliance demands a strategic shift on how and when audiences can and should be messaged, and called to action. At the very least, all fundraising communications should be optimized for mobile screen size, functionality — and speed. If your website, email, video, social media update or donor form doesn’t load on a mobile user’s device in less than five seconds, there’s a good chance they’ll give up on it.
Donations have gotten a facelift. Fundraising is no longer about asking people to dig out their checkbooks; it’s incentivizing them to donate in the here and now. In today’s mobile world, that often means paying online. To be effective, the process must be seamless. Limit donation forms to no more than one page, and confirm they’re easily viewed and functional on desktop and mobile devices. Require that the donor enter only the most pertinent information: Name, billing address, email and phone (optional), and payment method. Take advantage of mobile payment and digital wallet technology, including that associated with social media accounts, that empower the customer to retrieve payment-card information online, eliminating the need to have a physical credit card in tow to donate. The less information you require a donor to provide, the higher your potential conversion rate.
Connect with your donor’s day. The prevalence of mobile use has made it possible for marketers to connect with prospects and customers in the exact right moment. The same communication potential exists for fundraising — and may be the most critical determinant of fundraising success. Because donor participation is based on making emotional appeals at the exact right time, text-based mobile messaging can be a cost-effective way to succinctly call donors to action. Based on their daily movement, including the neighborhoods they visit, the stores with which they shop, and the brands they like (all of which are revealed based on data from their mobile device), you can gain a sense of behavior patterns, and identify the ideal messaging times donors are less likely to be busy or distracted.
Identify the right partnerships. The relationships nonprofits are able to form are paramount to maximizing exposure, community awareness, and ultimately, fundraising success. Technology now empowers organizations to understand the other brands their supporters engage with, on social media, online, and in “real life,” based on mobile device geolocation data. Fundraising campaigns that leverage this insight can identify the optimal organizations to approach for collaborative partnership arrangements. When charitable organizations have a sense of the other types of organizations their ideal donor already supports, and better predict the messaging and fundraising strategies to which they’re most likely to respond.
Tell your story everywhere. Storytelling is at the heart of every successful nonprofit effort. According to an infographic by Abila, more than 50 percent of charitable donations begin with a story. Today’s technology tools make it possible for charitable organizations of all shapes and sizes to shoot videos and images, and edit and produce high-quality materials on a mobile device. Get creative about your story and how to tell it in a way that will move your audience into action when shared online, and relevant social media tools based on your target audience. Much like the wildly successful “ALS Ice Bucket challenge” you may find that your supporters help your campaign go viral, and do the bulk of the fundraising for you.
Nonprofit organizations may be lean on cash and human resources, but technology advances have made it possible for established and new charities to increase fundraising success. Know your audience, tell your story, and keep your call to actions and donor forms simple. By adhering to these basics, you’ll find a cost-effective way to leverage fundraising efforts with the help of technology.
Guest blog post by Kristen Gramigna, the Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm services nonprofits, as well as various other types of businesses. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.