Archive | September, 2014

Your nonprofit needs more than a mobile landing page. Here’s why.

24 Sep

page

Last week I was in northwest Arkansas with the Northwest Arkansas Association of Fundraising Professional members presenting to them. They are a great group and it was both an honor and a pleasure to be invited to speak. After the presentation and their fantastic Q&A, several members came up to me with their phones and showed me their current mobile sites.

I viewed them and they were more towards mobile-friendly rather than mobile-optimized, (read more here about mobile-friendly versus mobile-optimized) which we prefer and offer to our customers. I asked them to click on the links on their mobile home page and all seemed OK. The content was formatted to be legible on a phone with no pinching and swiping to view the page like you have to do with pages formatted for a PC.

But I was kind of holding back because I knew where the weak spot would be. What they were showing me was a mobile-friendly landing page with content “scraped” from their PC site and reformatted to fit a mobile phone screen. Content scraping has been around for a long time as a way to take existing content and repurpose it for another format. The problem with this approach is that content on a PC was designed and created to be long form content and on a mobile people prefer snack sized content.

Content scraping was not the weak spot however. It was their donation page.

In each example I saw from the NWA AFP members I spoke to the donation experience was still their PC donation experience.

This is not a best practice. Here’s why.

1) Google’s mobile bot that they use to judge your mobile experience will find this PC page and demote your search rank on this alone even though the rest of the content is formatted for a phone via the scraping process.

2) You still risk losing donations by relying on a PC form on a mobile phone. As I have remarked here in our blog before, third party research has reported that your lost donations by using a PC form on a mobile phone could be AS HIGH AS 50%!

Exacerbating this situation is the fact that most people go to your website to give versus “check you out” which means all that content scraped from your PC site is not likely of interest to the visitor to your website. So, they’re there to give and it’s a PC page where the first action is navigating instead of completing a mobile-optimized giving form.

Navigating a form is not making a gift to your nonprofit.

Mobile landing pages and content scraping are OK but that PC donation page (or YIKES-pages!) on a mobile phone for giving has to go ASAP. You’re missing donations and Google is still demoting your nonprofit’s search rank. Ouch on both fronts.

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.

Which to ask for? Permission or forgiveness?

18 Sep

dilbert

Just a brief one this week because the title pretty much says it all.

Is it better to ask for permission or to ask for forgiveness? I’ll share my answer in a moment.

This topic was given to me by a nonprofit director we are working with to use our platform. She actually said that she can’t share working with us because she had not received permission from the powers-that-be to move forward using our platform for mobile engagement and mobile fundraising. In talking to her it was easy to tell that she wants to move her nonprofit forward into the digital age. She sees what all of us see, or at least I hope by now that you see it-the mobile phone is taking over for the PC as THE internet device of choice.

And yet, I worry that this is the case for a lot of nonprofits and their decisions on what to do. I suspect this is at the heart of copying the same thing someone else does and expecting it to work for your nonprofit. Many are doing precisely this with the Ice Bucket Challenge.

And don’t get me wrong. I get it. It comes with the oversight and scrutiny that all nonprofits are subjected to. But as it pertains to products like ours with no contract and no set up fees there is little downside. Using this as a prism I suspect that many contracts that nonprofits could not escape is a factor in the drive to seek permission.

With the digital age upon us and the rapidity of change and advancement hastening asking for permission means decision cycles that are out-of-synch with the digital age.

Experimentation is the rule in the digital age.

So here’s my answer and my explanation.

Ask for forgiveness. Why? Precisely because of the need to experiment and see what works for your nonprofit. I know “experimentation” and “nonprofit” don’t always go hand-in-hand.

My argument wins on this single example. Do you think ALS knew going in that the Ice Bucket Challenge would be what it became? Of course not. They tried it. It worked. And whoever thought of it hopefully got the credit and never had to ask for forgiveness.

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.

Announcing the launch of #HelpKC10 – A program to help 10 KC nonprofits

16 Sep

kc10

We have exciting news to share with you about a new partnership program we have created with Jennings Social Media Marketing (JSMM). They are a Kansas City-based social media and marketing firm serving customers nationally in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Together with JSMM, we are offering to help 10 nonprofits free of charge with mobile fundraising and social media campaigns to help them get ready for #GivingTuesday and the upcoming holiday season.

The campaign is called #HelpKC10 and the hashtag will be used to share the campaign and to ask the public to nominate a nonprofit of their choice to be selected for the #HelpKC10 program.

The top 10 vote getters will be announced on October 1st. Then they will be assisted by RAZ Mobile in setting up their mobile fundraising campaign on the RAZ Mobile platform. Simultaneously, JSMM will provide 10 tweets and 2 Facebook postings for the #HelpKC10 nonprofits to include in their social media postings. The content will reflect their mission and their “voice” and will be created by the seasoned professionals at JSMM. JSMM will provide this content through the end of this year.

Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM, said, “It’s our way of remembering what the holiday season is really all about and we hope these 10 nonprofits are able to elevate their fundraising success with digital media.”

We are very excited about this partnership and it is our sincere hope that this helps the 10 chosen charities be successful in maximizing the potential of social media for fundraising.

You invited people to your gala, most won’t/can’t attend, now what?

10 Sep

decline

Depending on who you ask in the nonprofit sector, the return on fundraising “galas” or events either work or they don’t work. Here’s an excellent piece asking this very question. What is the return on the money and time spent preparing for, what amounts to many, a big party?

No matter what the return is, one unfortunate reality that can EASILY be addressed is most people you invite either can’t or won’t attend for various valid reasons. In fact, your nonprofit will limit ticket quantity to a small subset of your supporter network on purpose in order to live financially within the budget you have set for the gala. In other words, you don’t want everyone you invited to attend.

With this being the case for your nonprofit; you’re inviting many to attend your gala via print and digital channels, many can’t or won’t attend, now what?

The now what is that while they read your invitation to the gala they are engaged with you, they’re thinking about you which means they feel something about you. If they can’t attend they may feel guilty or they may also feel generous. How is your nonprofit dealing with the non-attendees who in the moment say to themselves, “I can’t make it because we’re busy then but I could spare $10 or $20 because I feel guilty/I feel generous right this moment.”?

I get a lot of print and digital gala and event invitations. For various reasons I don’t go to them. And yet the vast majority of the invitations don’t let me make a gift instead of attending. The invitation is sole-purposed; please come to our event. I say to myself “I can’t but could I make a gift instead?”

Again, for many nonprofits the answer is NO you cannot make a gift via this invitation. Please go to our website and hunt for the donation experience. This is a GOLDEN and MISSED OPPORTUNITY for nonprofits.

All nonprofits should be providing something like the following in their gala invitations.

“For those of you that can’t attend you will be missed but if you want to help us you can make a gift by clicking here.

All or part of the appeal text above should be a hyperlink to a frictionless, responsive design giving experience with copy tailored to the reason the would-be donor is there; we realize you can’t attend, we’ll miss you, thank you for your gift!

And this points out a larger issue for a future blog topic and that is nonprofit communication which contains no way to give. This makes no sense because giving is an impulse. You have to present the giving option everywhere your supporter sees you. And this includes your gala invitation that I can’t attend. You just missed a gift.

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.

4 myths about mobile giving BUSTED!

3 Sep

busted

With each passing day, the rise of the mobile phone as the primary and sometimes exclusive internet device for Americans (let alone the world) continues unabated. Some would say the pace is accelerating and that soon the PC will be somewhat of a relic like the pay phone, the typewriter and the hand-held camera. It’s ironic that the PC drove off the typewriter and the smartphone drove off the pay phone, hand-held camera and is driving off the PC. There is a generation coming that won’t know the PC.

As this shift from the PC to the mobile phone occurs some nonprofits are, rightly so, looking at what to do to adapt to this shift to mobile. Do they go with text-to-give? How about an app? Or do they choose to do nothing and risk their lost donations rising due to relying on a PC form to be their mobile giving experience?

The Millenniall Impact Report of 2012 is useful in answering these questions because it points the way forward for not only millennials but for all age groups; people will give to, and want to give to your nonprofit via their phone. And yet, there are some myths about mobile giving that deserve to be addressed and BUSTED! Where these myths have come from is debatable. Some come from “experts”, some are in books about mobile giving, and some come from nonprofits themselves as they seek to rationalize their delay in dealing with the ongoing shift to mobile.

No matter the source, here are 4 myths we’ve seen BUSTED! first-hand.

Myth 1 – no one wants to fill out a form on their phone. The reason for this is 84% of nonprofits do not have mobile optimized experiences. There are multiple reports available with research showing that a PC donation form on a mobile phone frustrates donors and if this is your nonprofit’s strategy for capturing mobile donations you may be losing 50% or more of would-be donations and donors.

Myth 2 – only young people will enter their credit card info on a phone. We’ve seen older people enter their info. All ages love easy! And this is the key. Think of e-commerce. Companies like Amazon and Apple show the way in making the shopping experience very easy the first time and even easier to make repeat purchases. The first RAZ Mobile nonprofit I gave to took about 100 characters to fill out the form completely and I never had to pinch and swipe around the page to figure out where to start on the donation form. Large buttons and a frictionless form makes it easy for all ages to give in the moment.

Myth 3 – there’s a lack of security. By using the right service providers the transactions are as secure as PC transactions. Using web forms created on a secure server accessed over an SSL connection is very, very secure for donation processing. No donor data is retained. I’m not sure what’s propagating this myth but all internet connected devices can achieve the highest level of security. Singling out the mobile phone as less secure is perhaps tied to native apps which we don’t use nor would we ever recommend using for this reason and about a dozen more.

Myth 4 – people won’t store their credit card info for future donations. About 1 in 5 do so on RAZ Mobile. In creating RAZ Mobile we set a goal to make repeat donations easier than the first. At the end of their first donation, donors are offered the chance to save their information securely which makes repeat donations possible in 20 seconds or less on a phone, tablet or PC. The security we use is the same as Apple and Amazon. Donors that choose to save their info create a 4-digit PIN which is stored as a token in a PCI-compliant credit card processing gateway. Repeat donations are then easy, fast and secure; all you have to do is enter your PIN and confirm your information. It’s just a few taps and all nonprofits should make giving this easy.

Please don’t let these myths slow your nonprofit down in embracing mobile giving. With #GivingTuesday and the holidays approaching and mobile traffic growing in leaps and bounds each day, it only makes sense to begin using a great mobile giving and engagement experience TODAY! The myths have been BUSTED!

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.