Archive | July, 2014

Who is the most powerful donor?

30 Jul

money

There is a certain feeling of power when you can express and fulfill an impulse in seconds. American society thrives on instant gratification. I believe that this is, in part, due to the feeling of power. Here’s an excellent article from Yahoo Business on the power of now.

To me, this same concept of the power applies even more to the notion of giving to a nonprofit. When the giving process is laborious and time-consuming I think some of the feeling of power goes away. In my mind’s eye, I just can’t see making donating hard to do and yet that’s the case for some causes. It follows then that I prefer to give using RAZ Mobile, not just because I founded RAZ Mobile, but because I can give to any cause on our platform in about 20 seconds. That is instant gratification for me, the cause I gave to and in some cases someone or something in need.

There’s no app to download and I only had to fill out the donation form once. I store my credit card info securely just like I do with Apple or Amazon. Now, when a RAZ Mobile customer asks for help with a donation, I feel very powerful in being able to give in 20 seconds on any screen-phone, tablet or PC.

The asks can come in an email, a tweet, a Facebook posting, a text message and even direct mail. And I can respond right then and there if I choose to do so. This makes me feel very powerful.

And I don’t mean power in the political sense. I mean power in that I am ready to give and express my support in a few taps on my phone. I can fulfill my impulse to give very, very easily. This makes me feel good and all nonprofits should strive to make their donors feel good. It encourages a repeat act of giving.

I don’t think it’s selfish to feel good or powerful nor do I feel like a slave to instant gratification. We’re talking about giving to help others after all.

Into the future I don’t think legacy means of giving tap into this feeling of power and in fact, I think they make some feel like they are powerless since some don’t have checking accounts or PCs. Some may resent a laborious giving experience or that a response to a direct mail ask begets more mail not just from the cause given to but from other causes that bought the donor list of the cause given to.

I also like the sense of power of using technology to help lower the cost of a dollar raised while raising the ROI of the cause that I gave to.

Call me an early adopter if you want because I certainly feel like I’m on a mission to do my part to make the world a better place. I prefer to think of myself in other terms-I am ready to give anytime, anywhere in 20 seconds. All your nonprofit has to do is ask. I am the most powerful donor.

3 things to do if your nonprofit is new to social media

23 Jul

The best campaign results we have seen with our customers has been driven through and via social media. The sharing and trending we have seen for social media-centric fundraising campaigns is eye-opening and yet somewhat to be expected since sharing and following are easy to do via the device at arms length 91% of the time-a mobile phone.

All social media is now (and always has been) mobile-centric and becoming increasingly so with each passing day. Email is the same with almost 70% of email being opened first on a mobile phone. This is indicative of the mobile phone supplanting the PC as the primary (or exclusive) internet access device.

And yet, as powerful as social media is, some nonprofits are on the fence or just getting started and are working to build their audience up to UNICEF-like size (almost 3M followers on Twitter). How did they get this big and can your nonprofit do the same thing?

Building your social following starts with one person, just like every great journey starts with one step. So let’s just say that your nonprofit has cleared all the internal hurdles needed to use social media-what now?

Here’s the 3 things I would suggest if your nonprofit is new to or just getting started in social media.

Work with others that have larger followings

Your nonprofit likely knows and hopefully works with local businesses and organizations who may have much larger social followings than yours. Work with them on what messages and frequency they would be willing to let you place in front of their audience. The beauty of this is that both parties win. The business is seen as a good community citizen and they will introduce you to people that you likely would never meet on your own. A yearlong calendar of this would do wonders to help you build your audience. And as we’ve seen, this has also proven to be a WINNER when it comes time to raising money.

So all you have to say to them is “Hey, we are trying to build our audience and would you be OK with tweeting to your followers about what we do?” I don’t know of many, if any, that would say no.

Don’t give up

This one really applies to all of us using social media and that is be there at all times and don’t stop delivering your message. It may seem that it’s not going well but one mustn’t take a short term view on social media. Th goal is to build an audience and that means always saying something whenever you can. Planning social media posts can be fun for staff to create if you let it be that way. And the reward can be like we saw last Christmas-one of our customers received $2000 from a single tweet. This customer is a one man nonprofit and with a tweet he was there when the donor felt the impulse to give. Very powerful indeed.

Make sure conversation extenders are mobile-optimized

Focus on this point for a moment. Social media = mobile.

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This is one that is perhaps the most cumbersome for nonprofits to address. Much of their social content points to links where the content is not optimized to be seen on a mobile phone. Besides presenting a broken link, nothing ends the conversation faster than making someone pinch, swipe and wait for the PC experience you want to share with them slowly renders on their phone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With platforms like ours the conversation can be extended easily to your fully optimized, stocked-with-content RAZ Mobile site.

The same applies even more with asking for donations in social media. The mobile donation experience must be easy to complete in the moment. Relying on a PC experience for mobile giving is a path to lost donations (and frustration at an impulse denied).

Social media, no matter how your board feels about it, is powerful and here to stay. Get started today or if you’re having trouble getting into a groove, hopefully these tips help.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great 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. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.

“Eventually” your nonprofit will go mobile?

16 Jul

Let me start this week’s post with an apology to our followers for missing last week. You see, I was dealing with this.

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So there was the tree. About which, much like the headline of this week’s post, I was reminded that “eventually your house will be back to normal”.

Well the tree is gone and the repairs have begun. My thanks to all who expressed their concern and best wishes.

But the question remains-when exactly is “eventually”? Can it be today? In the case of nonprofits missing mobile donations the answer is “it should be today”. In the case of many though this is the answer and their response – “Eventually we will go mobile”.

Imagine Bill Gates saying this. Or anyone at Google or Apple? Mobile technology is moving so fast that one could argue that each month that goes by for a nonprofit or for-profit entity without a great mobile experience is equivalent to 2 or 3 months. Each month that goes by not giving your supporters (and customers) a great mobile experience means catching up will take more time than you think. Sadly, some will never catch up.

I’ll say the same thing I always say: online is the only growing channel for giving and the online channel, with each passing day, increasingly means mobile.

“Eventually” as the timeframe for a nonprofit to embrace mobile and to deploy a mobile-optimized version of their primary domain, to say nothing of optimizing giving pages for mobile donors, strikes me as simply a cop-out and an excuse to keep doing the same thing over and over expecting better and better results.

And yet, I have heard “eventually” as the timeframe to go mobile from too many nonprofits who likely don’t realize that the pace of going online mostly via mobiles has hastened and now stands at 34% according to PewResearch. Restated, just over 1 in 3 are mostly mobile on the internet. In the next 12 months I predict this figure will close in on 50%. Let that sink in-1 in 2 will be mostly mobile on the internet and sooner than you think.

So while you plot “eventually” as a date on your nonprofit’s calendar to go mobile, your supporters are already moving on, transferring their PC internet activity to their mobile phone. And, along with it, their loyalty and support to another cause.

When that day of “eventually” does come and you do go mobile you will be able to say at that time “Eventually our supporters will come back” even though they will have likely moved on with their time, talent and treasure to another nonprofit that engages them and values them enough to make their mobile experience the best it can be.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great 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. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.

For millennials technology is a need not a want

2 Jul

 

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My favorite quote from the just-released Experian report titled Millennials Come of Age is this:

“While the rest of adults see smartphones and the Internet as revolutionary, for Millennials, they’re just part of the natural order of things,” (John) Fetto added. “As such, they have expectations about how things should work that may seem unrealistic to those who grew up without such technologies. Technology and connectivity is not a want for this generation; it’s a need.”

It’s my favorite because it completely captures the situation facing businesses and nonprofits-millennials look at their world as one that’s infused with technology and mastering technology for the sake of engaging this audience of 80,000,000 people is the same as they view their smartphone-it’s a need and at the center of their life.

Need more proof? From the report:

  • Millennials are mobile dominant. Fifty percent of Millennial smartphone owners say that they access the Internet more often through their phone than through a computer.

What’s this mean? Your nonprofit is getting an ever-increasing amount of traffic from mobile phones and if you’ve followed our blog you know that using a PC experience for mobile visitors gets your Google search rank demoted and puts you at high risk for missing donations.

You can expect the mobile dominance for millennials to rise over time along with your inbound traffic to your primary domain from mobile phones.

All of this points to a persistent mobile experience for all age groups, not just millennials. If mobile is a lifestyle and at the center of an ever-increasing amount of people then your nonprofit should not look at mobile as just something to leverage for your next event.

Think of it this way-mobile usage is not an event so why look at mobile engagement and giving as an event? (I know this is in large part driven by the perception that mobile giving equals text-to-give but text-to-give falls way, way short of being what mobile giving really is and solves none of the challenges presented by relying on a PC experience for mobile visitors to your primary domain.)

I know nonprofits are inundated with stats and findings about the millennial generation but this is to be expected when the stakes are so high. All nonprofits must embrace mobile technology now and focus more on learning what works rather than just “trying it out”. A growing number of Americans, millennials and other groups like Boomers, rely on their mobile phones daily and they’re not “trying it out”.

Time to think like the people your nonprofit needs to attract for furthering your mission.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great 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. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting and negative QOS.