May 8, 2014
The digital age has seen a multitude of new technologies penetrate the nonprofit industry, most of which have been for the better. Social media gives charities another channel to interact with benefactors, while the Internet has enabled organizations to accept online donations - a more streamlined approach to raising money on a regular basis. The recent advancements in technology have changed the way charities and users online communicate, and they are shifting the paradigm in the way that donors give too.
A recent eMarketer study projects that 4.55 billion people worldwide will use a mobile phone in 2014 - which is nearly 64 percent of the global population. It's evident that smartphone and portable devices are continually penetrating our everyday lives. Nonprofits need to be taking advantage of this fact sooner than later.
Real-time giving yields high results
The beauty of online networks is that they provide organizations a real-time communication outlet with donors on a daily basis. Similarly, smartphones give benefactors the opportunity to reach out in multiple channels if they choose to interact with or donate to a nonprofit.
A unique mode of communication that nonprofits must take advantage of isn't necessarily new to the everyday public, but texting can be leveraged as a powerful tool for nonprofit payment processing. A recent Pew Research Center study found that while 1 in 5 adults have made a charitable contribution online, 10 percent have done the same via text on their mobile phone. The ability to constantly communicate is something the general public has gotten used to, especially now that donors are either always on the go or multitasking to a certain extent.
The power of texting was demonstrated in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2010 that decimated Haiti. An estimated 220,000 people lost their lives while another 3.5 million were affected in some manner, according to the Disasters Emergency Committee. A massive advertising campaign followed as philanthropists and organizations asked the public to donate a small amount to help those affected. The resulting effect was more than $43 million in assistance funneled to those in need, the Pew Research Center added.
It's clear that when leveraged properly, organizations can produce strong results through an effective text-to-give campaign. While $43 million is somewhat of an anomaly, nonprofits can expect to increase donations by asking benefactors to give small amounts via text messages.