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5 Strategies to Engage Donors on the Move

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From the bus station to the boardroom, everyone everywhere seems to be glued to their mobile devices.

donors on the move

Although some might say this is a bad thing, it’s actually great news for nonprofits. The fact that over 90% of people in the US have smartphones (that they practically can’t live without) means there are millions of donors out there, just waiting to be reached!

And your nonprofit can reach them, with these five strategies for engaging donors on the move:

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1. Tantalize with Text-to-Give

Whether you’re fundraising for your church or fundraising for your nonprofit, text-to-give is a terrific way to go.

Text-to-give technology allows your donors to:

  • Text your nonprofit’s number with a donation amount.
  • Confirm that they wish to give $10, $25, $100 (the sky’s the limit) through email.
  • Receive a confirmation email with a personalized “Thank you.”

It’s as simple and direct as that. No fuss, no muss.

For first timers, it can seem a little strange that it’s so quick and easy to donate, but once you explain how safe and secure it is, your donors are sure to be on board.

PCI compliance and rigorous industry standards make texting to donate one of the swiftest and safest ways to donate anytime, anywhere.

2. Push Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as P2P, leverages your existing donors to reach dozens of new supporters.

How does peer-to-peer work? And how can you make it work for you?

It’s actually quite simple.

You start with your nonprofit’s key influencers, the major players that everyone wants to be like. You give them all the tools they need to go forth and fundraise on your behalf. They’ll reach out to their friends and family, asking for donations from their entire social network.

These influencers naturally spread the word for you (on the go, of course), and voila! Your nonprofit has reached 5-10 times as many potential donors as it would have otherwise.

Peer-to-peer fundraising is perfect for reaching donors on the move, and it’s so easy; it’s really a no-brainer!

3. Captivate with Crowdfunding

Much like peer-to-peer fundraising, crowdfunding is a grassroots fundraising tool that gets your donors personally involved. The way it differs from peer-to-peer fundraising is subtle, and often the two techniques are used in tandem. Crowdfunding can be an arm of peer-to-peer fundraising, and vice versa.

One of the wonderful things about crowdfunding is that it works just as well on a desktop as it does on a mobile device—and you can captivate thousands in an instant with a powerful, inspiring crowdfunding video.

Another fabulous feature that often accompanies crowdfunding pages is the option to create a crowdfunding thermometer. Thermometers keep track of donations made as well as goals to be reached. They’re unbelievable motivators: people respond to visual representations.

When donors see that others are jumping on your nonprofit’s crowdfunding bandwagon, they’ll feel more compelled to give.

A pro tip for crowdfunding: Encourage your nonprofit’s staff and board to give to the fund right at the outset. The partially filled-in thermometer will make your fundraiser seem more inviting to other potential donors.

4. Motivate with Mobile  

You probably have some amazing advocates. Why not expand that network by creating a mobile-responsive website for your nonprofit?

More often than not, people find nonprofit websites by searching on their mobile devices. Don’t make the mistake of dropping the ball with a non-responsive mobile website.

A mobile-responsive website is just like your nonprofit’s regular website, except:

  • It functions just as well on a mobile device (phone or tablet) as it does on a desktop.
  • The buttons are larger and easier to push.
  • The picture-to-text ratio is greater. The fewer large chunks of text you have on mobile, the better.
  • It loads as quickly as possible.
  • It features your donation button as clear as day.

If you follow all of these standards (or go a little above and beyond), your nonprofit’s website will see a definite increase in its conversion rate. Donors will be far more likely to stay on your mobile site…and eventually even donate to your cause on the go!

There are few better motivators for giving on the go than an easy-to-use, straightforward, compelling mobile website.

5. Enthrall with Email  

Asking for donations through email can sometimes fall flat. And retaining donors who are on the move all the time can feel like grasping at sand.

But did you know that email is actually one of the best ways to reach your donor base?

The majority of people check their mobile email multiple times throughout the day. At any given point, they could be reading a message from your organization. Make sure that your email:

  • Has a captivating subject line. Donors respond to positive, specific language. Avoid words like “money” or “urgent.”
  • Includes pictures in the body of the email. Studies show that pictures really are worth a thousand words.
  • Has an obvious donation button or call-to-action. Don’t make your donors dig around to find out how to give to your nonprofit.

As long as your emails play by these rules, you’ll be sure to reach more donors where they are.

Final Thoughts

Peer-to-peer fundraising gets your donors on the ground, reaching out for you. Crowdfunding creates buzz within your donation network by offering unique videos and other visual experiences. Mobile websites inform and motivate donors to stay a while. Texting captures the hearts of millions with a couple of clicks. And mobile email is the tried-and-true sweetheart of the mobile fundraising revolution.

Know any other great ways to engage donors who are on-the-go?  Add them in the comments!

Looking for Donation Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Donation Management software solutions.

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About the Author

John Killoran

John Killoran is CEO of @Pay, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites. John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past five years. When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.

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