Dec 03 2019
Data Analytics

Giving Tuesday: How Mobile Giving Has Changed Philanthropy

With a computer in the palm of everyone’s hand nowadays, nonprofits need to be mobile-friendly to get the best results.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all behind us, but the long Thanksgiving weekend isn’t over yet. Many will be digging deep into their pockets again today, but not for themselves—this time, it’s for Giving Tuesday. 

Today marks the unofficial start of the holiday donation season, and the day’s significance continues to grow. Nonprofits raised $380 million online on Giving Tuesday last year, up 38 percent from 2017, according to Nonprofit Source.  

Advancements in technology have made donating easier than ever, and as donors look for convenient ways to give, infrastructure for mobile fundraising is a must for every organization. Through text-to-donate, mobile-centered web pages and apps, nonprofits can get the most out of this charitable time of the year. 

READ MORE: Learn about how technology has changed how nonprofits fundraise.

Text-To-Donate Makes Contributing Easy

Text-to-donate is one of the quickest, simplest, most versatile ways people can give to an organization. Donors can text a number with the amount they’d like to donate, and they’ll receive a link that takes them directly to a donation form already filled out with that amount. Many platforms, such as Snowball, keep the donation process to two easy steps while keeping fees low, allowing the money to go right to the causes.

These kinds of services can also be used during live events to boost donations. Platforms such as OneCause are built specifically to streamline fundraising during galas and concerts. Others, like Gesture, are designed for text bidding during auctions. 

Text-to-donate platforms can also help engage an organization’s donor base. Some allow nonprofits to text back-and-forth with their donors, getting feedback and encouraging them to get involved in ways other than just monetary donations. Organizations can answer donor questions or even let them participate in a contest.

Donation Pages Must Be Mobile-Responsive

At a time when most people walk around with a phone in their pocket, it’s no longer enough for nonprofits to have a healthy and easy-to-navigate website, they now must have pages that are effective for mobile web browsing. This includes branding with proper dimensions and simple donation pages that are built for the mobile screen.

It’s also important that mobile donations be seamless, so nonprofits should make sure that donors can give via services like Apple Pay and Google Pay, so they never need to leave the phone screen to make contributions.

Build an App for Your Organization

In addition to optimizing websites for mobile, it’s smart for nonprofits to consider creating their own app. Smaller organizations don’t have to worry; there are plenty of platforms that can be utilized without having a programmer on staff.

Microsoft Developer is easy to use, guiding users through step-by-step to creating an app to meet their needs. For organizations that have even more limited resources, there are platforms such as Google’s One Today that support donations for multiple nonprofits, so all an organization has to do is sign up.

According to the State of Modern Philanthropy Report, 29 percent of the volume of fundraising for nonprofits comes between Giving Tuesday and the end of the year. Organizations who aren’t using these mobile tools could end up missing out.


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