Archive | July, 2013

QR Codes can help you see what communications drive donations

31 Jul

qr code

Yesterday I was in Lawrence, KS at a SocialIRL event and I was asked, as I am many times, about QR codes as a means to let donors give. The questions are usually something like “does anyone do that?” and “why should we add them to our communications?”.

To the former I say “YES!” and to the latter I say “It’s just the price of ink to give donors this option and see how they respond.”

Our customers are getting mobile donations from QR code scans and it’s not only millennials that are doing it. We’ve seen folks over 40 do this.

As far as using them in print material like direct mail, business cards, posters and the like, the example above is a great way to add copy to a QR code to let donors know they’re going to your mobile site. You can add the QR code and copy to your direct mail or as a picture on Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram or any where you can share images with your supporters.

Even better is that on our platform you have the ability with our QwikRAZ feature to create a unique QR code for each of your communication channels. You could have one for direct mail, Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram just to name the most popular channels in use today by nonprofits.

By doing this you have the ability to track in real-time how each channel is performing as a donation-generating channel. We would always advise our customers to do something like this to experiment with what channels their supporters respond to when they make their donations.

In the fast food business the use of QR codes for this same purpose of seeing what communication their customers respond to is growing. Here’s a link to a great article about that.

I used to be a QR code pessimist but having seen their creative use in the for-profit world and their positive reception by some donors that scan them to make mobile donations, I am very much pro QR code.

The added benefit of using them to see how your channels are performing makes them very valuable too.

Text-to-give is beginning to fade from view

24 Jul


Looking back at the start of RAZ Mobile we clearly were not impressed with its dominance in mobile fundraising nor were we happy with the manifold limitations of text-to-give. I won’t list them all here. They’re on our website These limitations drove us to look for a better way to engage supporters and fundraise via their mobile phones. Our intent was to use technology to better engage donors and make it easy for them to give any amount when they feel they are “in the moment.” I consider this a goal we’ve met.

Another goal we set for ourselves for 2013 was to highlight these limitations as a marketing tactic to differentiate RAZ Mobile in the marketplace and to make 2013 the year that text-to-give began to fade from view.

Along the way towards furthering this goal, I was met with some industry resistance on a couple of noteworthy topics pertaining to the limitations of text-to-give.

One was my claim about the carrier taking up to 50% of the donation. I was told this wasn’t the case and was strongly urged to retract my statement. I didn’t and instead relied on the fact that this is repeated on the internet so my claim was merely a recitation of what any one can find in the public domain.

The other dispute arose out of repeating what we had been told firsthand by a nonprofit user of text-to-give who stated in their estimation, aside from donations to them for the Joplin, Missouri tornado relief, they only saw 3% of pledges actually being paid by donors to their text-to-give campaign. In reality, text-to-give is a pledge first, and only becomes a donation when the person pays this portion of their wireless carrier bill. So, this isn’t my data, it’s the data from a text-to-give industry customer. It’s their data.

Disputes aside, text-to-give is fading from view in my opinion as more nonprofits (and political organizations) realize the limitations make it very unattractive for mobile fundraising.

What’s more, and I always go back to this point, millennial donors that have given via text-to-give prefer giving to mobile optimized websites when they are in the moment.

As text-to-give fades from view please consider giving the donors what they want – a great mobile experience like the one they’ll get from your RAZ Mobile site and let them show you how much they care about your mission.

What the heck is mobile-ready?

17 Jul


As the online world runs to go mobile, many phrases like “mobile-ready” and “mobile-optimized” can be heard and seen as one looks around for clues on the path to take to go mobile.

Unfortunately, there is no standard on what either of these phrases mean. In order to understand what they mean for your nonprofit’s efforts to go mobile, one has to see the meaning with their own eyes and decide for yourself. It can’t be just a phrase that you read since the consequences are pretty extreme.

Take the image above. This is a brand X version of “mobile-ready”. On a phone this will render but your first action will be to start pinching and swiping so you can see what the heck is on this page. This page happens to be a donation page but when a potential donor sees it for the first time they likely don’t know this.

If this is a bad experience to them, a recent report from Mobile Commerce Daily suggests that 44% won’t come back. What’s worse is 50% of donors will not complete their donation to you on their mobile phone if the process is too hard.

So this version of mobile-ready leaves something to be desired. If the first action a visitor to this page takes is not entering data or completing the phone then mobile-ready just doesn’t make sense for nonprofits looking to go mobile.

For us at RAZ Mobile it’s about mobile-optimized. This is why apps are so popular since they load quickly, render easily and are easy to navigate. If the image above was an app I dare say it wouldn’t rate even 1 star in a app store ranking system.

The best advice I can offer to any nonprofit looking to choose a path to go mobile is to see for yourself on your phone what a donor sees of your nonprofit on their mobile phone. Then ask yourself if it requires too much pinching, swiping and waiting. If it does, check out what RAZ Mobile does and sign up for an online demo at

It’s worth the time to check out just what we mean when we say “mobile-optimized.”

Speed matters!

9 Jul

ImageA short post today since writing about speed mattering as much as it does in the internet warrants brevity.

Does speed matter when thinking about the donor experience with online giving?

The only answer to this question is a resounding YES!

In the for-profit world, large web services like Google and Amazon know this and they are rewarded with loyalty and patronage. These rewards are just as important to a nonprofit as they are a for-profit enterprise and even better they are easily attainable.

•Amazon found that +100 ms increase in response time equaled -1% sales.
•Google found that +500ms response time meant a 20% reduction in searches.
•Google found that a 30% reduction in file size generated 30% more map requests.
Think of anything you do in life? Most of the time quicker is better and when it comes to serving a donor when they get the impulse to give speed matters BIG TIME!
If you don’t think it matters ask a donor the question in the picture above-which form will be easier and faster to complete.
Speed matters even more on mobile phones because people are on-the-go and they use their phones for so many different things. 
With a slow and difficult to complete donation process you could be leaving money on the ground and letting future high net worth supporters slip through your fingers.