Does a giving channel shape the donor?

22 Oct

cc and phone

There is the adage which holds that “the suit makes the man.” Or the other one perhaps more well known – “You are what you eat.”

As we help the nonprofit community deal with the inevitability of going mobile and reaping the benefits therein I often wonder if the way a nonprofit accepts donations shapes the profile of their donor base.

The adage in this case could be “Your donor is how you take donations.”

If you follow my blog you will recall last week where hypothesized about Starbucks only taking pennies. If this were really the case for them (aside from the absurdity of ever doing this) one can easily see that YES, only taking pennies would have a large impact on who and how many customers Starbucks has.

So it follows that if this was the case for your nonprofit your donors would have to hoard pennies. Not many would do this and those that would do this are likely to be ardent supporters with a certain mentality about helping you.

More direct to the point, asking for mailed donations means you have to have a checking account. (I know that your form has the ability for donors to enter credit card information but in this day and age this is the last thing you should be asking donors for. The security concerns of my credit card info on your form in the hands of a stranger far outweigh this as a giving channel.) Those without checking accounts can’t give to you.

For online giving, the only giving channel that’s growing, it’s easy to see why this is so. In order to do anything online one usually uses a credit card and giving online via credit card is easier than mailing a check. It’s also cheaper and may result in credit card points for airline miles or some other perk.

Many nonprofits will say that “our donors don’t give that way” and now I know what they mean. It means the way they take donations has shaped their donor base. This can be good and this can be bad.

As the mobile phone takes over the world as the primary and, for some, only point of access to the internet, not offering a frictionless and secure way to give via a mobile phone means the donors you’ll have in the future are a direct result of how you accept donations.

With almost all of the 80 million millennials carrying a smartphone mobile giving allows them to join you. Mobile giving will then be at the heart of shaping your donor base.

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.

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