Wishes for 2016

31 Dec

2016

On this, the last day of 2015, we here at RAZ Mobile want to share three wishes we have for all nonprofits in the coming year.

We’ve had these wishes for awhile and yet for many engaged in fundraising for a cause these wishes heretofore have remained over the horizon for most nonprofits and sadly remain unrealized.

WISH NUMBER ONE 

We wish that all nonprofits still using a PC page for mobile donors start using mobile-optimized forms that don’t rely on logins and passwords for repeat donations.

This practice has been shown to result in LOST DONATIONS.

WISH NUMBER TWO

We wish that all nonprofits recognize that most of their email is opened first, and increasingly only, on mobile phones.

If your email doesn’t render well, i.e. isn’t readable, then folks tend to ignore you no matter the headline. If your email has a monetary ask in it and it’s not mobile-optimized see Wish Number One above.

WISH NUMBER THREE

If a donor makes a gift to you online try to refrain from sending them direct mail in the future.

I know direct mail for nonprofits is pretty much on aut0-pilot for a variety of reasons but the act of making an online gift is an indicator on how that donor wants to engage with your nonprofit.

Email is good in this case and snail mail is not so good.

Other than the hassle of direct mail and the fact that we all pretty much live in our phones now, our biggest beef with direct mail is that nonprofits sell donor information to others or let their direct mail firm solicit for other nonprofits.

Nothing makes me more frustrated than to get direct mail from a nonprofit I know nothing about and have never interacted with.

Don’t sell donor info.

It’s our hope that all three wishes for all nonprofits become realized in 2016. You’ll be glad they did.

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 social media, email and other popular digital channels and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

My reason for not responding to your nonprofit’s direct mail

30 Nov

mail room

It’s not what you think.

Yes, I created RAZ Mobile to help nonprofits transition from direct mail to online giving via mobile phones but that’s not my reason for not responding to your direct mail ask.

And it’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t write checks to nonprofits because I do. I wrote one for several hundred dollars last week.

I’m not sure that many other people share my reason for not responding to nonprofit direct mail but I’m going to guess that I’m not alone.

My reason is this: I’m not really responding to you, the nonprofit, am I?

I’m responding to the firm you hired.

Are they really you? Sure, you approved the copy in “your” direct mail (you have to) and it’s your brand and I assume that you get my donation at some point.

But in my head I just responded (with my personal information mind you) to a direct mail firm you hired. And when I hear the price tags for these efforts I shake my head.

I spoke last week to a nonprofit that works with therapy animals and they were teeing up a $200,000 direct mail campaign. Ugh! In the next breath they told me that they’re run a deficit for 37 years.

I’m not sure how you do that and stay with your mission but this much is true – we have customers that get $20 per dollar spent on our platform. Using this math a $200,000 spend would yield a whopping $4,000,000!

I’m thinking the same thing as you on that last point. No one’s ever done that with direct mail.

When my information ends up at your direct mail vendor they add it to their database and then commence sending me more nonprofit direct mail.

And you know what this does? It obstructs and impedes my relationship with you.

This is my reason for not responding. You farmed my relationship out to someone that works against you while telling you that they are working for you.

I don’t want ever more direct mail from nonprofits your vendor works for.

A simple ask from you optimized for my phone with the gift going directly to you immediately and completed securely on my phone in seconds is what I want.

And I know I’m not alone. There’s got to be one or two of the 80,000,000 millennials that feel the same way as I do.

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 social media, email and other popular digital channels and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.

Mobile-optimized fundraising: Is it an investment or an expense?

28 Oct

dollar

In many circles the topic of how much nonprofits spend on their stated mission is a touchy one. Likewise, the topic of whether an expenditure of any kind in either the nonprofit, for-profit or governmental realms is also sometimes a (hot) debate.

Was/is the expenditure an investment or simply an expense?

To figure out the difference we can look at two extremes.

Buying copier paper is an expense while at the same time helping the nonprofit be productive in their mission.

Investing donated dollars in US Treasury Bills is an investment. (I know many will want to debate me on this but this is a relatively risk-free way to invest.)

While the former is a necessity the latter is something that I would hardly call productive. Yes, it’s relatively risk-free but is it the best use of funds?

Shouldn’t the nonprofit seek to deploy funds in ways that result in each dollar bringing in at least another dollar?

Of course.

The average cost of a dollar in the nonprofit world is 20 cents. Put another way nonprofits have to spend 20 cents to make one dollar. In round numbers this means that on average each dollar a nonprofit spends on fundraising events, campaigns, etc. with the intent to raise money brings in $5.

In these terms the fundraising expense is an investment, clearly. Money/funds are allocated to the fundraising efforts and each dollar produces more dollars. Some would refer to this as ROI, return-on-investment.

And yet, if this is the case why do some nonprofits only see expense?

We have customers who regularly see each dollar they spend with us for our state-of-the-art mobile/tablet/PC giving tools result in a whopping $22 in giving!!

That is a 22-to-1 ROI.

Can you think of what Wall Street or Las Vegas would be like if this was the kind of ROI they were able to achieve month in and month out?

If your nonprofit always looks at just the cost side of things and not the “what did that dollar produce” side of things then you are like missing out because you’re solely focused on cost.

To me, from what I’ve seen our customers achieve in returns on their investment in frictionless fundraising on any screen in seconds through their RAZ Mobile account, I’d want as many dollars as I could find each out there working to bring in at least $20 each.

I see it happen every month with our customers.

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 social media, email and other popular digital channels 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.

 

Mobile racing to the fore: “Smartphone revenue is doubling and sometimes tripling”

30 Sep

running

Summer’s over and the giving season gets closer everyday. Besides RAZ Mobile customers raising even more money in total than ever before there really wasn’t much news going on.

I sensed that many were taking well-deserved and (much needed) vacations.

Then, as if almost on cue, there comes this line in this post’s title from NonprofitPRO’s recent article by Phillip King. Here’s the section of the post the quote is taken from.

king

I think this is very interesting and to a very large degree to be expected.

Each day people, young and old, transfer things they do on a PC to something they do with their phone. Why is this?

Two things: proximity (we never let our phones out of sight) and optimization for mobile giving (no more relying on a slow-to-load and hard-to-navigate PC experience for a mobile phone.)

So, over the summer we saw our customers raise more money in total than ever before and as Mr. King points out there’s going to be more and more folks looking to engage with your cause via their phone versus their PC.

Our data and that analyzed by Mr. King show this to be the case.

Mobile is racing to the fore and your nonprofit needs to seriously prepare for this now.

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.

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

26 Aug

UPDATE: September 17, 2015

Today it was pointed out that the post below pertains to the “old” Facebook Donate Now button and not their “new” one.

For our error we are very sorry to have looked at old info on Facebook’s site about ways to add Donation button(s) to a nonprofit’s Facebook page.

So, unless you’re using the “old” button and not the “new” button you can ignore our post below.

Again, we’re sorry.

However, never to leave you, dear reader, wondering what we think of the new button we’d say this: it’s not cool either and for 2 big reasons.

1. The new button adds another click

The last thing a nonprofit’s giving experience needs is another step and as pointed out in the Techcrunch article states in the original story listed below, this added step kind of berates the person clicking the Donate Now button. Ouch.

2. A redirect from Facebook to the nonprofit’s PC giving pages likely still means a PC experience on a mobile phone.

Ask anyone about how much Facebook is viewed and interacted with on a mobile phone and in one word they will say “most”. Most of Facebook content is viewed and create with mobile phones. So a Donate Now button will, for the vast majority of nonprofits deliver the would-be donor to a PC page on their phone.

If you’ve read our blogs about this there is a wealth of data that says giving via a phone through an experience meant for a PC is likely a lost donation due to slow load times, too many pages, too small of type, too much friction, having to create a userid+password, etc.

So we’re sorry Facebook for talking about your “old” button below.

The new one though still registers on our “not cool” meter.

__________________________________________________________________

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.

 

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