Archive | November, 2014

A simple equation to always remember

19 Nov

friction1

Last week I attended a local seminar entitled “Growth Hacking”. It was all about how marketing is changing from one dominated by print and digital media to one that now includes the immediacy and share-ability of social media in an always-on world.

In the seminar a great deal of attention was paid to the funnel of getting people to use your product. The funnel here is the path from discovery to use. In the nonprofit world this path would be called the “donor journey”. (Although it’s called a journey there’s plenty of research from folks like Blackbaud that suggests the journey is more of a short walk than a journey since not much research goes into the donor’s gift-making process.)

Either way, in the online world buying and giving is an impulse for the majority of individual purchases and gifts.

So I was really struck when the presenter at the seminar showed the equation above.

Its companion in the for profit world it reads as:

friction2

This simple equation embodies everything facing a nonprofit when it comes to making themselves ready to take online gifts from any screen-phone, tablet and PC. Friction must be reduced to zero.

And yet, per this shocking and informative piece from Chronicle of Philanthropy in February of this year this equation is being ignored:

The groups take too long to ask for money, and they make it too hard to give online.

As a result, according to the researchers, those nonprofits may be missing out on billions of dollars in online gifts.

In addition, two powerful findings in the article are:

  • Sixty-five percent of their websites required visitors to click through three pages or more to give online
  • Eighty-four percent of nonprofits, including many of the nation’s largest charities, haven’t made their donation websites easy to read on mobile devices

This is way, way too much friction in the giving process. And both points above are costing you donations everyday. In fact high friction can terminate the impulse to give if it’s too much.

Every financial transaction benefits both parties when friction is removed. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons that online giving is the only channel that’s growing in the nonprofit world; as poor as the online giving experience is reported to be by the article mentioned herein it is still preferred to the friction of responding with cash in-person or via a check by mail.

Another case-in-point: Amazon spends a great deal of time peeling milliseconds out of its shopping experience because they LIVE BY THE EQUATION! Frictionless shopping translates to money straight to their bottom line. The same obsession should apply to all nonprofits.

This is also why Amazon (and Apple for the same reason) let you store your credit card and shopping information securely for future frictionless purchases.

This is what inspired us to create giving to any cause on our platform in the most frictionless way we could develop. Donors can make repeat gifts on any internet screen (tablet, phone and PC) in 15 seconds or less. In reality, our nonprofit customers enjoy a giving experience is more defined by the donor’s internet connection strength and speed than it is the process itself. Our giving process is that frictionless.

Variations of this equation abounded in the growth hacking seminar. I realize the need nonprofits have to engage donors but even that practice benefits from absorbing the equation. Make the engagement frictionless and one they’ll want to share and talk about with family and friends.

So yes, engagement is important. But when it comes to giving, removing as much friction as possible, like we do for RAZ Mobile customers with the any screen, fast, secure and easy giving experiences like the ones their donors enjoy on our platform means tapping into the lost billions of dollars the Chronicle article cites.

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, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

3 top tips for #GivingTuesday

12 Nov

gt

The buzz and hype for #GivingTuesday is in full swing as we head to the holiday season. It’s a great time for giving and, rightfully so, it’s also a very popular time for giving as we all think about those in our world who are in need. As I always say “Tragedy never takes a day off.”

Being mindful of this let’s set the stage for #GivingTuesday.

It is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The progression is Thanksgiving Day, then Black Friday, then Cyber Monday and then #GivingTuesday.

It is a growing global day of giving celebrated after we enjoy the bountiful harvest prepared by loved ones on Thanksgiving Day and two days of shopping (not me-I like to wait until the last minute).

You’ll note that in my mention of #GivingTuesday I include the (#) hashtag character. This is intentional and leads me to our first top tip for your nonprofit to benefit from #GivingTuesday.

TOP TIP NUMBER ONE – Mobile equals social and social equals mobile

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. are all mobile companies. Their platforms are designed to cater to the mobile consumer. And we should all know this in our hearts. As much as many in the older demographics who yearn for the typewriter and face-to-face conversations like to deny, mobile is the internet we always wanted and the one that’s already subsumed the PC.

So it is fitting that in all references to #GivingTuesday the hashtag is always there signifying that this is a day of giving centered on mobile phones and social media.

Yet, unfortunately, most nonprofits will be out there making #GivingTuesday appeals in social media and email with a giving experience designed for a PC. This is, as data tells us, a path to lost donations. Completing a giving form on a phone that has been designed for a PC could cost you upwards of 50% of donations.

So get a mobile-optimized giving form today. Our customers enjoy easy, secure, frictionless and fast mobile giving. Trust me-you need this today and forever more.

TOP TIP NUMBER TWO – Get others to share

It goes without saying that social media is sharing experience. Ideally, on #GivingTuesday you will be encouraging your supporters to share you with their social networks. This is the most basic step in your “get others to share us” playbook.

Where sharing really takes off is giving your donation page URL (again, it should be a mobile-optimized giving experience for the reasons herein) to businesses and organizations that care about your cause and that may have sponsored you for a gala or an event like a walkathon or marathon.

Why is this right to do? They want to participate in #GivingTuesday too. Their employees want to participate and it’s always good for a business brand to constantly be helping to make their community strong by caring for the needy whether it’s for humans or our furry friends.

Get a mobile-optimized donation page and share the URL with these businesses and organizations. Ask them to share on social media. They’ll thank you for the opportunity to participate in #GivingTuesday.

TOP TIP NUMBER THREE – Before, during and after

This tip may not be readily apparent since “technically” #GivingTuesday is supposed to be one day but here’s the deal: social media platforms are time relative meaning that your #GivingTuesday content may or may not get seen and shared depending on timing alone.

This is why, if I were running the content for #GivingTuesday I would be posting before, during and after #GivingTuesday. It costs nothing.

Before you could say “Beat the #GivingTuesday rush with a donation to us.”

During the day it’s easy-no need to tell you what to say.

After you could say “We had a great #GivingTuesday and in case you didn’t have a chance to participate you can now. Thanks!”

#GivingTuesday will be a blitz of content and messages. Don’t fall victim to the blur of content. Start early and stay late with your social postings.

I hope these three top tips help your nonprofit. By following them you will learn and refine your tactics for this year, next year and all the days in between!

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, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative .

My 78 year old father in-law wants online giving

6 Nov

fly

For as long as I can recall in my time with RAZ Mobile, I have been told time and again that older donors don’t want to go online to give. Indeed, whenever I shared what we do at RAZ Mobile with my father in-law who is an older donor (primarily to his church) he said that he didn’t really see himself giving online.

The church that he gives to religiously does not offer online giving options. And, without naming the denomination, I don’t think they ever will.

The reality is that as this graphic from Dunham and Co. shows, the only group growing in their use of online giving is 60+ year olds. My father in-law is not alone.

dunham

But something changed him and it had nothing to do with him spending more of his life online as so many of us do today. It has to do with his grandkids.

You see, my father in-law now has a grandchild in collegiate Division 1 athletics and he couldn’t be prouder of that fact. My father in-law would like to travel to see her play and he figures that points on his credit card that earns him fly miles would be a good thing to do.

And he’s right.

He’s got time on his hands and wants to travel and see his grandkids at college and he’d like to take what he does already, give to his church, and have that drive benefit back to him in fly miles.

Everyone wins.

He’s not looking to (GASP!) write down his credit card info on a form and hand it to a stranger. He’s shopped online so online security concerns don’t cause him to refrain from using his credit card online. (Just watch your bill. It’s not hard to make sure you don’t get ripped off.)

He wants points from online giving and rightly so in our opinion.

So, encourage the older folks to give with credit cards that earn them points. Everyone wins.

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, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative .