Maintaining donor privacy important for mobile giving

Nonprofit organizations, like many other enterprises, have had to adapt to the changing landscape of consumer interaction via technology. Wireless communication has become the standard across nearly all industries. Philanthropic groups are no different, and the rise of mobile devices has ushered in an era in which donors expect a constant stream of communication, whether it's through SMS texts, email or an app specifically designed for online payment solutions.

CoExist, a website dedicated to creative and innovative solutions to environmental and social issues, highlighted a recent Google study investigating the way people donate online. While many nonprofit organizations have traditionally had success as a result of direct mail campaigns, respondents to the survey indicated Web-based resources, such as social networking sites, were 20 percent more effective than direct mail for contacting donors. This shouldn't be a complete surprise considering the popularity of social media amongst all age groups.

Take advantage of an expanding audience
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported 72 percent of adult Internet users participate to some extent on a social networking site. What's more, baby boomer – those 65 and older – have increasingly begun using social media, growing from 13 percent in 2009 to 43 percent as of 2013. As a result, these sites represent an important part of any marketing or fundraising campaign, with 79 percent of respondents to the Google survey felt online video ads were the most effective tool for raising awareness. Many social media platforms are ripe with opportunity to integrate rich visual content that gives donors a more visceral relationship with a group's mission.

The connection between social networking sites and mobile devices is hard to deny. Research supports this, as 40 percent of donors look up information on nonprofit organizations with their cell phones, with 25 percent making donations through this mobile device. All of the data suggests that nonprofit groups should invest more of their resources into providing donors with, at the very least, an online platform for giving, but also incorporate a mobile strategy.

Building trust is crucial
One way to achieve this is through mobile apps especially designed for a nonprofit. The challenge inherent in this is building trust with donors. Citing TRUSTe's 2013 Consumer Data Privacy Study, Direct Marketing News reported 22 percent of smartphone owners explained their greatest worry was having their private data compromised while using an app. Consequently, nonprofit groups need to invest in software that enables donors to confidently give to charitable foundations without fearing their privacy will be compromised.

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