7 (not cool) things you need to know about Facebook’s Donate Now

26 Aug

bad fb

This week the personal information collection and storage platform known as Facebook rolled out their “Donate Now” button for nonprofits. They tested this service with a few select nonprofits earlier and I have to guess that they like the results. Here’s a piece from from the folks at Techcrunch about the roll out.

While seemingly this bodes well for nonprofits, I can’t help but think this is more about Facebook’s selfish big picture aims than it is about truly helping nonprofits and those they serve who are in need.

I’ll explain what’s driving my thinking by sharing with you my 7 (not cool) things you need to know about Facebook’s Donate Now.

NUMBER 1-The money goes to Facebook

And then the cause gets it later. Frankly, don’t we have enough software platforms living off the nonprofit float? The promise of fundraising innovation is to cut out the middle man and make the process of giving to those in need happen faster and with the least amount of friction as possible. Donate Now solves none of this that I can see.

NUMBER 2-They automatically store the donor’s credit card info

To me this is the real Facebook gambit. They will do just about anything to get their users’ credit card info anyway they can for future commerce. Even more not cool is that they collect this information and store it AUTOMATICALLY. Ask for permission? Don’t be silly. We’re talking Facebook here.

Oh joy! The chance to be forced into sharing more with an online service without being asked is just what I’ve been waiting for! How about you?

NUMBER 3-No donor data to the cause

Inexplicably Facebook will know more about your donors than you will. Ever.

This affords the nonprofit no chance to create a loyal supporter and a high-lifetime-value donor.

And this leads to….

NUMBER 4-Donors will get approached by other causes

It’s just the way FB operates. Here’s a refresher on this point.

Facebook will know that donor X made a donation to an arts-focused nonprofit. Guess what? They’ll show ads for other arts-focused nonprofits to the donor.

Say goodbye to loyalty. I guess Facebook really wants you to compete with other nonprofits….and pay them for the chance.

NUMBER 5-Still hard to turn Facebook Likes into $$

Does anyone remember Facebook’s Stores offering? Don’t worry if you don’t because it kind of flopped.

Why? Many in the know opined that it was because Facebook is more about “liking” than real commerce. If that’s the case here for Donate Now it can hardly be considered a cash cow waiting to happen (if at all) for nonprofits.

NUMBER 6-No CRM integration because there’s no donor data

Not much to say here-kind of speaks for itself. I guess getting used to the name “Anonymous” in your donor CRM is in order.

NUMBER 7-There may be pushback because folks are already leery of what FB knows about them

This is where I’m at personally. I have a Facebook page personally and haven’t been there in years because it’s boring, contrived and creepy. I know that Facebook intentionally compiles massive amounts of data about people for their profit, not in the name of connecting people but in selling ads.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a capitalist with a heart. And yet the less they know about me the better.

I may be wrong about all of the above. Or I may be right.

I look at it this way. If I told you Facebook will do just about anything to have your credit card information on file would/could you believe it?

I thought so.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful, international platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Today, all causes globally need a content-rich mobile presence that can be shared through text messages, social media, email and more and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. If your nonprofit needs custom development of a mobile solution to fit your mission please click here. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

Bold prediction: mobile ads will replace direct mail for nonprofit fundraising

5 Aug

one minute

There’s no denying we’re in the political season and there’s also the upcoming NFL season. (I hope the Brady thing fades from view…..soon.)

Both politics and football pundits alike can’t resist the bold prediction. One that could come true because it’s in the realm of the possible at this point in each’s season.

Not wanting to be left out of the fun and the hype and the “hey, that could happen” that predictions cause, we have our own prediction.

You might say this one’s far-fetched and yet sometimes we feel like we have been to the future and we’re back now to report on what we saw.

And what we saw was this: mobile ads will replace direct mail. The only question is when.

There. That’s our prediction.

Follow me here: mobile ads are cheaper, more targeted, more impulsive and more actionable while direct mail is more costly, has a massive carbon footprint and shrinking as I type.

I’ll use mobile video as a corollary.

In 2003, while at Sprint, I launched the first live TV app, MobiTV. Back then people questioned whether anyone wanted to watch TV and video on their phones.

Fast forward to today and mobile video is eating into traditional TV and video habits. Some have called 2016 the Year of Mobile Video.

Apply this same shift, combined with ever more people transitioning daily behaviors and activities to their phone, and our prediction could be possible.

Mobile is creating, warping and killing some businesses and business models. Direct mail is prime and poised for a replacement.

We think mobile ads are it and like I said at the outset-the only question is when.

Is your nonprofit ready?

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful, international platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Today, all causes globally need a content-rich mobile presence that can be shared through text messages, social media, email and more and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. If your nonprofit needs custom development of a mobile solution to fit your mission please click here. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

No more carrier based nonprofit fundraising solutions, please.

22 Jul

innovate

I love true innovation and disruption.

Some things are billed as new and innovative (and really aren’t) and somethings truly are innovative. The “sharing economy” or as some politicians have awkwardly (they don’t know anything do they?) called the “gig economy” have spawned true innovations.

As it pertains to nonprofit fundraising I am always on the lookout for true innovation.

Last week I saw an announcement of a new fundraising platform so in the spirit of looking for innovation in this space I checked it out.

The platform is called “TPO” for “The People’s Operator,” and it’s a mobile phone service that allows customers to donate part of their phone bill to their favorite non-profit.

TPO’s rate plans start at $32 per month and they say they will give 10% of a phone bill to the subscriber’s favorite nonprofit. In essence TPO becomes your wireless provider on some one else’s network.

Philanthropy by individuals is a passion here at RAZ Mobile for sure, so on one hand I salute TPO but on the other hand this isn’t an innovation nor do I consider this to be a “cool” service.

In fact, I think it’s kind of lame.

Let me explain.

Donors want to give straight to the cause of their choice and increasingly this means online and mobile with 100% going to the cause immediately.

Having my donation go through a carrier is not a direct donation. Nor does this sound like a service that will provide donor info to the cause since carriers in the US aren’t supposed to be sharing my info with anyone but authorities in response to subpoenas.

So how does this help a nonprofit? Yes, the money will get to them eventually but do I really want my donation sitting at the carrier for a few weeks? Nope.

Do I want my donation limited to $3 per month? Nope. If I’m having a good day and I’m in the moment so-to-speak what do I do if I want to give $100? Can’t happen with TPO.

I’d have to search for the cause on my phone and then, as way too many profits do today, I’d have to try to complete my donation via their PC giving page on my phone.

Can we all agree that giving money to a platform first and then letting them hold it and forward it on to the cause later just needs to go the way of the typewriter?

Just as people needing a ride summon cars with Uber, just as they create their own radio stations with Spotify, just as they rent rooms from the owners of the room with AirBNB, the notion of how to give is changing and the 80 million millennials want to give DIRECTLY to nonprofits they believe in. I think Boomers feel the same way.

TPO would benefit from adding unlimited frictionless mobile giving to their philanthropy efforts. And I just happen to know who they can talk to. Me.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Today, all causes need a content-rich mobile presence that can be shared through text messages, social media, email and more and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. If your nonprofit needs custom development of a mobile solution to fit your mission please click here. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

 

3 reasons to rely on post cards for nonprofit direct mail

15 Jul

Last week I got an email from the good folks at Eleventy Marketing Group and in it was an article titled, 6 Significant Statistics From The DMA On The Current State Of Direct Mail.

The article lists the stats as mentioned and among them the most interesting potential impact to nonprofits using direct mail was this one:

postcard

 

So, all ages would prefer postcards from nonprofits. In an age where direct mail is shrinking but not going away anytime soon here’s 3 reasons why your nonprofit should take this report finding to heart.

Number 1 – It’s what’s preferred

I know this is kind of a “DUH!” reason but it goes a bit deeper. I believe the reason that postcards are preferred to, say, a 4 page appeal letter is that the content is bite-sized just like social media.

The trend to small content is driven by info-overload for sure but it’s also driven by where our eyeballs are focused throughout the day-our phones. Although people may spend an hour on Facebook they’re looking at small bites of content.

Small content in the digital and social worlds is driving interest in postcards from nonprofits versus longer more “engaging” direct mail content.

Number 2 – It’s cheaper

Even an alien landing on Earth would quickly learn that the United States Postal Service is in trouble financially. Rates will always go up just as the limits on the weight of the mail drop.

A postcard is about as simple, lightweight and cost-effective as can be.

Number 3 – It could be super effective

I know what your nonprofit is thinking-“how do I get a donation without a form and a return envelope? How do I tell the story of our mission on a postcard?”

Here’s how.

When the postcard recipient sees your postcard should have these elements on it to take a gift in that very moment the recipient looks at your postcard:

  • A shortened URL for entry into the recipients phone that leads to a mobile-optimized giving page
  • A QR code for the same URL as above
  • A text message call-to-action that will deliver the URL above

And also add in:

  • All of your social links
  • An email address of who to contact about large gifts

Yes, the postcard should have graphics and copy which talk about your mission/successes/challenges but in the moment that they feel compelled to give I can almost guarantee you 100% of the time the postcard recipient’s phone is at arm’s length.

Not their checkbook and not their PC. Their phone. Take advantage of this with secure and frictionless giving via smartphones.

We’ve seen these 3 ways to give work very well for the United Way. Increasingly your social media content is where supporters, new and existing, go to get your content. Drive folks there.

The weight of an envelope full of paper can feel daunting and too engaging for a supporter when they get their mail. A postcard is the right size as Eleventy points out and with secure, frictionless mobile giving just a few seconds away, postcards are the way to effectively ride direct mail into the sunset for your nonprofit.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Today, all causes need a content-rich mobile presence that can be shared through text messages, social media, email and more and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. If your nonprofit needs custom development of a mobile solution to fit your mission please click here. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

Another version of philanthropy disruption

1 Jul

hack

The past week has seen Sean Parker in the news talking about “hacking philanthropy”. If you don’t know Mr. Parker he founded Napster which tried to bend the rules around music copyright and he was also an early president at Facebook.

Here’s a clip from the movie “The Social Network” which chronicles the early days at Facebook. Justin Timberlake plays Sean Parker.

From what I have been able to glean from Mr. Parker’s thoughts on “hacking philanthropy” it is that there are Silicon Valley elites with millions if not billions sloshing around in their pockets and that they will set a new course for philanthropy as they rise to prominence. Ostensibly they will exert new influence on philanthropy and they call this a “hack”.

I could be a bit jaded but I found nothing new or noteworthy about Mr. Parker’s viewpoint. Included in the interviews with Mr. Parker was the announcement of the Parker Foundation. His foundation is funded to the tune of $600M and for this I salute Mr. Parker.

When asked about what the foundation will do it seems that life science and health are at the forefront of what interests Mr. Parker. Good.

I’m sure that the railroad and oil barons of the early 1900s aimed portions of their wealth at causes that were important to them. Given the health maladies of their time one could argue that Mr. Parker’s just doing the same thing – picking winners from the pool of philanthropic causes that excite them.

So how is this “hacking philanthropy”? To me it’s nothing new.

Here’s something new however, and this is how I would “hack philanthropy”.

1. Hasten the demise of direct mail

The United States Postal Service subsidies and the decades-long use of direct mail has, in my opinion, made nonprofits complacent in their use of technology.

Yes “it (direct mail) still works” but examine that statement. “Still”? The statement implies the coming demise and the 80,000,000 millennials coming of age as full-on givers means “still works” will morph into “what just happened?”.

Moral of this story – federal subsidies for the use of online fundraising tools.

Put technology on par with direct mail. Today.

2. Get the US wireless carriers together to pay for an open and free fundraising platform

The wireless carriers would howl at having to do this and yet their spectrum licenses are an excellent place to place a tax which would support the operation and ongoing development of the platform. When they purchase licenses have a set portion go towards a democratized online giving platform.

Instead, what we have from the carriers today is text-to-give. And, here again, only certain causes can afford or want to do text-to-give and millennials pretty much say “Meh” to text-to-give.

So why can’t the carriers rally behind an alternative? They could but they too are complacent.

I’ve said this to one carrier and their comment was lame and uninformed: “how do we know that this cause just isn’t Susie trying to buy a new house?”

There are bountiful ways to validate causes and do a much better job than what exists out there today in the way of crowdfunding campaigns that never deliver on their promises.

Moral of this story – The wireless carrier group called CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) could champion this effort in the name of democratized mobile fundraising for ALL CAUSES LARGE AND SMALL.

The carriers need to come together and do this. Today.

3. Everyone rally around uniform giving processes, security and ubiquity

Comscore reports that over 77% of the US population has a smartphone. Soon, this percentage will represent saturation-everyone will have one save for a few that really don’t want one for whatever reason.

So ubiquity awaits for frictionless, mobile-optimized giving through smartphones.

And yet, security is a concern as well as the myriad processes a donor must wade through on their “donor journey” as the nonprofit space calls it.

Here, the hack would be to follow the model set forth by the likes of Amazon and Apple – a simple, known, repeatable way to buy or in this case, give.

With Amazon it’s one click. With Apple it’s that they have my credit card on file. Both use a tokenized vault to store credit card information and tokenization (RAZ Mobile has it too) has been referred to as “hack-proof”.

The uniformity of the Amazon and Apple experience means you can buy most anything or any content easily, quickly and securely.

So again imagine a platform that admits any nonprofit and allows any donor to make a gift in seconds using the same giving process over and over again on any screen at any time with nothing to download and no passwords to remember.

Moral of this story – a common platform for all nonprofits with the same simple, fast and secure way to give is preferred to the myriad ways nonprofits receive gifts today

A common platform is true “hacking philanthropy” in my mind and it can be done. Today.

I applaud Mr. Parker for his efforts and his foundation could be home to such a platform as I described here. All of the barriers to doing this are hackable and were some of Mr. Parker’s friends in Silicon Valley ready to engage in this kind of hack it would result in the kind of positive disruptions that are being unleashed by Uber, AirBnB and many others. If by chance Mr. Parker reads this post I can be reached at dale@razmobile.com and we can get started. Today.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create a content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

Summer’s here so it’s time to think about holiday giving?

24 Jun

santa

Once upon a time, I worked with a gal who was known for her Christmas in July parties. She was the kind of person that liked to celebrate. I think Christmas in July for her was partly celebration but also good measures of decorations around the house and the novelty of Christmas in July.

Hopefully your nonprofit is like this gal I once knew-you’re thinking about the crucial holiday giving season. Plans are being made now, hopefully, and I’m here today to suggest getting serious about adding frictionless mobile giving to your nonprofit’s options for giving this holiday season.

Here’s 3 reasons why.

#1 – There’s the eventuality of mobile

In the car, on the street, in meetings, in theaters…….mobile is everywhere and not going to go away or become any less of a lifestyle and giving game-changer.

At some point, and why not now for this holiday season, your nonprofit will have to embrace easy ways to take large donations on mobile phones.

I know what you’re thinking. Online giving is still small, direct mail still works, so why would I look at spending time and energy on mobile? Well, it’s like the Bible verse that reminds us that we know neither the day nor the hour.

In this same vein, not to burst your bubble, but your nonprofit will not know the precise moment when mobile will matter (TODAY!) but rest assured that day is coming and much sooner than you think.

#2 – The holidays are the “giving season” and mobile giving can help you tap the impulse to give

Everyone knows the holiday season is about giving to those you love and those you care about. It’s about last-minute tax deductions too. The media, the mail, social media and on and on are full of the giving spirit.

When the spirit touches a donor, what’s at arms length in that very moment?

Their phone.

Not their checkbook. Not their laptop. Their phone is right there. Let them give in that moment easily and without friction via their phone. You will likely be surprised by the results.

#3 – It’s a great addition to your direct mail

This one overlaps a bit with #2 but it really has more to do with putting as many giving options in your direct mail as possible in order to gain a donation.

With additional options in your direct mail your nonprofit can, over time, see which options your supporters respond to. And here again, you might be surprised to see supporters who you thought were too old to use their phone to give start making gifts to you via their phone.

As we enjoy the summer I encourage all nonprofits to give our platform a try. We don’t have a contract and it’s super easy to get started. We see large gifts to our customers on a regular basis. For the reasons above and many more not listed, give your own nonprofit the gift of frictionless mobile fundraising this holiday season.

Don’t make us tell Santa that you won’t.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

Don’t “Bart Simpson” your donors

10 Jun

This is the 100th RAZ Mobile blog.

bart

We recently had a customer let us know that they had deployed their brand new, responsive design mobile site and that they would no longer like to use their RAZ Mobile site for engagement, fundraising and all the other cool things we offer nonprofits like unlimited text messaging and crowd-funding.

When this happens I must admit that I immediately go to the site of the nonprofit to see what they have done.

I look to see if the site is just a landing page with links to PC content in it. This is not a best practice.

I look to see how much content is on the site and how it is arranged. In this case the nonprofit in question is leveraging their PC site for content so there was too much content and too many drop downs to navigate.

As we have always written here, mobile visitors to your site, responsive or not, will give you about a minute to get to the point. Too much content and too many drop downs may be fine for PC visitors but it’s too much navigation for mobiles. “Less is more” should be your mobile content mantra.

Then I got to the clincher-what’s the donation experience like? I’d like to share their mobile donation “journey” with you.

To set the stage, I searched for this nonprofit (in this case a museum) and when I found them I tapped on their primary domain URL.

Their landing page loaded and then……

  • I had to tap on “Menu” in order to expose more of the site. My first scroll found no mention of how to donate on the landing page.
  • However, “Menu” did open up a “Support” drop down which was below the fold (below the bottom of the screen)
  • I tapped on “Support” to open it up and that opened another menu
  • Donate did not appear on this page so I scrolled down
  • Scrolling down showed “Donate Now” which I tapped on
  • I scrolled down some more and also saw that the page overlapped to the right. So the page went up/down and left/right. This is not a best practice either.
  • I was able to see preset donation amounts and the ability to “Donate with Card” which I tapped on. There was no listing of cards accepted. (This is important since I use my Amex for points and many nonprofits don’t take Amex because of the fees.)
  • I did not want to make a donation using the preset amounts (they were too high) so I tapped on “Donate Custom Amount”
  • When I did this the custom amount field was pre-populated with $50.00 which, in order for me to enter an amount, I had to delete the $50.00
  • As I am deleting the $50.00 entry so I can enter $20.00 the numpad has not been brought up which means I have to open it. (PLEASE-if a text entry field is all numerics open the numpad for the visitor-it removes friction!)
  • I entered $20.00 and tapped on the “Continue” field which re-directed me to Stripe (a popular credit card processor) and then Stripe tells me that there was a problem loading the page and that I should try again later.

I don’t think so.

As I am going through the above process, I hear Bart Simpson in my head saying, characteristically, “ARE WE THERE YET!”

The stark reality for this museum is that I would have been done with my donation had they used RAZ Mobile for their donation process.

The donation journey shared above was/is fraught with friction and ended in total failure. It cost the museum $20.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

 

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