Last week, I asked the question, why don’t most nonprofits make it easy for people to donate on smartphones and tablets? I received a lot of comments from nonprofit leaders, many of whom were uncertain where to begin.
The question is critical in light of the never-ending race for funds and the growing use of mobile devices. Even if you balk at the fees, consider that you’ll still be getting donations you wouldn’t get otherwise. And younger audiences who donate on mobile are only becoming more engaged.
So how can your organization grab its share of mobile donations?
Let’s Talk Websites First
Building a separate mobile donation website makes no sense. There are vendors that offer this solution… but stay away!
It can be hard enough to keep a single website updated—let alone more than one. That’s why your site should incorporate responsive web development techniques in which graphics, menus, and text sizes automatically change to accommodate various sizes of browser windows.
If you already have a responsive website, open up a PayPal account, add a donation widget, and a button. It’s really that simple. PayPal adapts very well to smartphones and tablets.
Can’t Afford a New Website?
Skip it for now (but put it in next year’s budget). Concentrate on email.
First, you’re going to need an expansive email list. If you haven’t got one, get to work building one today.
Next, make sure you have an email service provider that’s mobile friendly. We like MailChimp, but there are others. For donation forms, Qgiv displays beautifully on smartphones and tablets and integrates easily with MailChimp and ConstantContact. Moving up the food chain, there’s Salsa Labs. All integrate well with VISA-owned Authorize.Net that processes the donations.
Two others stand alone and are worth mentioning. Blackbaud offers a complete suite of fundraising services for nonprofits, including mobile. Then there’s Network for Good that just passed $1 billion in donations processed since its founding in 2001 and offers a mobile checklist.
Ready Send Email
Now that you’ve chosen your providers, get ready to send a mobile donation fundraising appeal to your list. At the bottom of the message, place a “Donate Now” button. When someone clicks on it, they’re taken to an Authorize.Net or a Blackbaud mobile donation page with your logo.
If you are willing to go through the complication and expense of getting a merchant account, talk to your bank or find a provider. Blackbaud Merchant Services offers special rates to nonprofits. Funds can sometimes be deposited into your bank account in as little as a day or two. Network for Good offers its own merchant services. Qgiv also provides a more limited service.
If you’re not an official 501(c) 3 nonprofit or other recognized charity, and don’t have established credit, an option is to avoid the cost of becoming one by finding fiscal sponsor in the U.S. to handle your donations.
Mobile Donations Are Here
If you’re a nonprofit executive or in charge of fundraising, you’re already focused on major donors, sustainers, and events. It’s really not that hard to add mobile donations to the mix. The donors of tomorrow are on mobile today. Don’t leave their dollars on the table.
We’re all about digital strategy and online marketing. That includes websites and charitable giving, too. Contact me at 202.630.8014 or [email protected] for a free consultation.
We can help you communicate with more people, build your reputation, and expand your bottom line through strategy, tactics, and training. Follow me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn. SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG BY EMAIL OR RSS FEED.