Mobile giving is a particularly effective fundraising channel, because you're meeting donors where they are, often through interfaces that they're already familiar with using.

Whether your organization is just now starting out with mobile giving or you're a seasoned pro, we 're sure that you still have some lessons to learn that can help you maximize your mobile giving potential.

In this article, we'll cover 5 tips that can help your organization do just that!

Here's a sneak peek into what we 'll discuss:

  1. Offer different donation options.
  2. Feature multiple giving levels on your mobile-responsive donation form.
  3. Make it easy to set up recurring giving.
  4. Make a live appeal at your next fundraising event.
  5. Promote mobile giving in all of your outreach.

By the time we're done, you'll have some handy strategies to help you raise as many funds as possible from your mobile donors.

Let's get started!

Offer Different Donation Options

Why is it effective?

It's a common misconception in the nonprofit world that the only form of mobile giving is text-to-give. While text-to-give may be the most common mobile giving channel, there are many other methods that your organization can implement to accept mobile donations.

Some standard options include:

  • Mobile-responsive donation pages.
  • Mobile emails.
  • Mobile apps.
  • QR codes.
  • Mobile kiosks.

And that's not even every mobile giving channel there is! There are some more specialized forms of mobile giving as well.

For example, if you were running a silent auction, your organization could use mobile bidding to accept mobile donations in the form of bids (if you're interested, check out Double the Donation's product guide on the top charity auction tools).

Point being, there are many ways that your nonprofit can use mobile giving, so why limit yourself to just one method? In fact, your organization will likely see better fundraising results when you offer your donors multiple mobile donation options.

That way, you can create a more comprehensive fundraising strategy that appeals to more of your donors' giving preferences. And when you empower your donors to give on their terms, you'll see more donations!

How is it done?

This tip is mostly for the seasoned pros out there (or at least, those of you who already use mobile giving).

Your donors are likely already familiar and comfortable with mobile giving, so introducing a new donation channel shouldn't be too much of an adjustment.

If you're just starting out, ease yourself into mobile giving by limiting yourself to one channel, then build on that once your donors have become more comfortable. It's best to gauge your base before you invest in lots of options.

Either way, it's important to find the channels that fit your donors. You can use any of the data you have in your CRM to help you zero in on your donors' communication preferences.

For example, if you have high email open rates, your donors would probably respond well to mobile email fundraising. If you've had success with a text marketing list, it's a safe bet that text-to-give is right for you!

You might have to experiment a little bit to find the best fit. Measuring your results as you're using mobile giving channels can help you gain insights into which channels are most effective.

The takeaway

Providing your donors with multiple giving options results in more donations, because it enables your donors to choose their own involvement.

Feature Multiple Giving Levels on Your Mobile Responsive Donation Form

Why is it effective?

While mobile giving is not synonymous with online giving, there is a lot of overlap between the two. That being the case, many of the best practices you use for your online giving will apply to your mobile giving as well, especially when it comes to your donation forms.

Let's begin by emphasizing that your online donation form should be mobile-responsive. Mobile-responsive simply means that your form is just as attractive and intuitive on a mobile device as it would be on a computer.

Ensuring that your form is mobile-responsive is the crucial first step, but there are a few other ways that you can optimize your form to increase your mobile fundraising results.

One relatively easy way to see a spike in donations is to feature multiple giving levels on your donation form.

While there's some uncertainty as to why this strategy is effective, many attribute it to the social influence factor.

When donors have to fill in the donation amount themselves, many aren't sure what the "appropriate" gift size is. Having preset options gives them suggestions, so they feel more confident about giving.

Another reason is simply the convenience factor. When all it takes to select a gift size is the click of a button, donors will be more compelled to do it!

How is it done?

Setting gift sizes takes a little bit of strategy.

Your organization will want to consider the following three factors:

  1. Campaign goals. You'll want to set your gift amounts in a way that's conducive to helping you reach your fundraising goals. Loftier goals probably require higher gift sizes than those that are more modest.
  2. Average gift size. Calculating your donors' average gift size can give you an idea of your gift amount range.
  3. Comparable donation forms. In order to remain competitive, look at donation forms from other organizations that are similar to yours and see where they're setting their gift sizes.

It's also advisable to equate each gift amount with concrete results. For example, if you were an animal welfare organization, you could tell donors that a $20 donation buys 5 bags of dog food, a $30 donation buys collars and leashes for 5 dogs, etc. Donors are more likely to give when they can clearly visualize how their contributions are going to further your cause.

Once you've determined your gift amounts, all that's left is to add them to your mobile-responsive donation form and watch the funds roll in!

The takeaway

Offering multiple gift amounts on your online donation form can make mobile giving more comfortable and convenient for your donors, which results in more donations.

Make It Easy to Set Up Recurring Giving

Why is it effective?

Donor retention couldn't be more important to a nonprofit's fundraising success. In fact, recurring donors give about 42% more annually than one-time donors.

Thus, another way to maximize your mobile-responsive donations forms is to give donors the option to set up recurring giving. Some of your donors might not know that they have the option to set up recurring giving, so featuring it on your donation page ensures that, at the very least, all of your donors are aware of this option.

Plus, it makes getting started with recurring giving much more convenient, and convenience is a huge driving factor when it comes to whether or not a donor will follow through on making a gift.

How is it done?

This one is easy!

Most any mobile giving tool will allow you to place a recurring giving option on your donation form. As with your gift amounts, you can make this strategy even more effective by demonstrating concrete results. Let donors know exactly how much more of an impact they could make if they become recurring givers!

The takeaway

Recurring donors give much more on average. Using mobile giving to inform donors about recurring giving and provide them with a convenient way to get set up will help you see a spike in retention rates.

Make a Live Appeal at Your Next Fundraising Event

Why is it effective?

Mobile giving isn't merely an excellent way to engage your donors digitally; it can also be an excellent way to engage them in person! The best time to do so, of course, is during one of your fundraising events. Whether it be a walkathon or a charity auction, you can make a live appeal to raise more.

A live appeal is simply an in-person request for donations at a fundraising event. Think of it as a regular in-person ask made more efficient, since you 're asking an entire audience and not just an individual! Live appeals are an effective way to raise a lot of funds in a short period of time.

The urgency, as well as the social influence factor of seeing those around them donating, can really motivate your donors to give.

How is it done?

To pull this one off, you'll need the help of a robust text-to-give service.

At your next fundraising event, one of your staff will get up and ask the audience to help you reach a fundraising goal by the end of the night. Make sure that your goal is clearly defined and realistically achievable.

Then, guests can use text-to-give to submit their donations from anywhere in the venue!

You can heighten the competition a little more by projecting a fundraising thermometer. These widgets are linked to your text-to-give platform and update in real-time as donors submit their donations.

When your attendees see how close they are to reaching the goal, they won 't be able to resist the challenge!

The takeaway

Because there's an urgency and social influence factor that comes into play, making a live appeal during your fundraising event is an excellent way to increase the funds you raise from mobile giving in a short period of time.

Image text: Promote mobile giving

Why is it effective?

The key to success with any fundraising strategy is to get the word out! After all, donors won't give through a channel if they don't even realize they have the option.

That's why your organization should be promoting mobile giving in all of your outreach, especially when you're first introducing these channels.

It's important to take a multichannel approach to your mobile giving promotion, because you'll hit more of your donors' communication preferences. When you meet your donors where they want to be contacted, they're more likely to engage with you.

Plus, preferred communication and giving channels don't always align. By including information about mobile giving even in offline outreach, you'll also be hitting more of your donors' giving preferences.

For example, just because somebody loves receiving information about your organization through direct mail, doesn't mean that they want to submit a donation by mailing in a check. Perhaps that donor would find it more convenient to text in their donation. If you haven't included information about how to give through mobile, then your organization could be missing out.

In other words, including information about alternative ways to give (here specifically mobile) in all of your outreach can never hurt your fundraising!

How is it done?

Your organization should figure out how to incorporate mobile giving into your overall marketing and communications strategy. Whenever you're requesting donations, make sure that you include a sentence informing donors about mobile giving options and how to get started.

Remember: you should be including information about mobile giving not just in your email blasts and other digital communications, but in your offline outreach as well.

Highlight mobile giving in direct mail, tell donors about mobile giving at fundraising events, take out a bus stop ad...the world is your oyster!

The takeaway

The more awareness you can raise around mobile giving, the more fundraising opportunities your donors will have!

These are just a few of the ways that your organization can maximize its mobile giving potential, but at the very least you have some solid strategies to help you get started.

For more on mobile giving, check out @Pay's website. We have tons of helpful resources on the subject!



Eric Griego is the Director of Business Development at @Pay, a simple and secure giving platform that provides donors a seamless way to give on a mobile device. He has implemented effective fundraising strategies for hundreds of Nonprofit & Church organizations. In his spare time he roots for the Denver Broncos while enjoying a nice craft beer.

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