Archive | December, 2014

Happy Holidays!

24 Dec

From all of us at RAZ Mobile to all our customers, to those thinking about becoming customers and all that follow our blog and care about nonprofits, we wish you a Happy Holidays! and a wonderful New Year!

We’ll be blogging again in the first week of 2015.

Sincerely, The RAZ Mobile Team (Lance, Angela, Reed and Dale)

3 reasons nonprofits needn’t worry about Bitcoin

17 Dec

bitcoin (1)

Last week a friend shared an email he received about a movie in production called theBITmovie. Here’s an excerpt of the email:

I’m with the documentary film, theBITmovie (in production), which is currently touring through every major U.S. and Canadian metro area exploring the philanthropic elements of social change and fundraising with Bitcoin.  Our producers, Scott Glass and Lee Poichuk, are making Bitcoin-funded donations to charities in the local areas they are visiting.

This sounds interesting at first glance but after a few minutes I asked myself “why does a “currency” like Bitcoin need a propaganda movie?

Don’t get me wrong-I know bitcoin is being used for transactions and yet I know of no one with a bitcoin and further into the email there is reference to someone having used bitcoin to buy $500 in CVS gift cards. Bitcoin sounds like cash, check or credit card right? It’s being used to buy cards to give to a nonprofit. The use of bitcoin here in this example isn’t anything to go to a movie to see.

You could say (and you’d be right) that I am not a proponent of bitcoin so when it’s being positioned via a movie as something nonprofits need to pay attention to allow me to offer your nonprofit three reasons why I think you needn’t worry about bitcoin.

REASON 1 – Bitcoin use pales in comparison to cash, check or credit card when it comes to giving to nonprofits

Bitcoin usage and ownership is paltry at best. Why adapt to something that almost no one uses? Perhaps that will change over time but as a currency, bitcoin is completely unproven versus cash, check or credit cards for giving.

I don’t see this changing in the foreseeable future at all.

REASON 2 – Bitcoin values fluctuate based on ??

I’ve followed the violent swings in bitcoin prices (here’s an opinion piece from Oct-2014 about why the drop in bitcoin values are supposedly a good thing?) and I have yet to figure out what drives the price other than pure speculation and seemingly unchecked intentional manipulation.

Sure, you may get a large donor giving you a stash of bitcoins but don’t hang on to them. They may be drastically less the day after you get them. Or they may be worth more. The point here is who knows what they’re worth from day-to-day or minute-to-minute. With this being the case, I suggest asking the donor to give you the US dollar equivalent of their bitcoins at the moment of their gift and then give the donor a big hug.

REASON 3 – Your nonprofit has bigger fish to fry

Someday, someday, bitcoin may be huge. I doubt it. Nonetheless, your nonprofit has much bigger fish to fry. The biggest of which is getting better at taking online gifts. Too many nonprofits are missing billions of dollars (according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy) by doing two things that can easily be corrected; 1) online giving has too many steps and too much friction. This hampers both the amount of the gift and the completion percentage of gifts started, and 2) far too many nonprofits use a PC giving experience for mobile online givers. This causes the same thing but likely at a higher rate than what happens in #1.

My advice is to follow what’s going on with bitcoin, ask bitcoin donors to convert them to cash and take the cash but above all, get a frictionless online giving experience for all 3 screens (like what we provide RAZ Mobile customers) TODAY.

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.

Google’s “mobile-friendly” tagging has arrived. What it means for nonpofits.

10 Dec

Last year, Google unveiled their mobile bot. What’s that you say? A new device to harvest data from your mobile phone? A new wearable device to make you use Google even more than you do today?

Nope. It’s their software program that crawls the web looking at the primary domains for all websites (think http://www.yournonprofitnamehere.com) and its purpose is to see what kind of experience you offer mobile visitors to your primary domain.

Here’s a screen grab off my iPhone showing our customer Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City as I searched for them. (RMHCKC redirects mobile visitors to their primary domain to their RAZ Mobile website. This is a best practice for many reasons, the Google mobile bot and gaining the “mobile-friendly” tag chief among them as well as giving in seconds on any screen.)

photo

See the mobile-friendly label? It appears in search results for all our customer sites since what offer satisfies the Google mobile bot’s parameters for what a good mobile experience is solely in the eyes of Google.

This shows that “mobile-friendly” tagging in Google search results has arrived. (Side note: I really don’t like the term “mobile-friendly” since I have see many implementations wherein my first action on the site I’m on is to start pinching and swiping to figure out what’s on the page. I strongly prefer “mobile-optimized”.) On it’s face it the term suggests a good mobile experience and not a PC experience that likely will frustrate the visitor perhaps to the point of not returning.

But what lies deeper and what lies ahead should concern all nonprofits.

What lies deeper than this label is how frictionless is your mobile giving experience? As Blackbaud reminds all nonprofits, visitors to your website go there to give more than to stay connected with your nonprofit by a 2 to 1 margin. If that’s the case then the “mobile-friendly” label is great but it gives no heads up to the donor about how easy you make giving.

For our customers frictionless giving is at the heart of what we deliver on all three screens. Giving in seconds is what we offer RAZ Mobile customers and their donors.

What lies ahead is what I fear almost more than a poor giving experience and that is never being seen in search results. Well, technically you will show up in the search results but where in the search results is the big question. Above the fold? On the second page?

You see there are many that expect Google to use the mobile bot to determine the “mobile-friendly” status of your primary domain and then begin demoting domains that are not mobile-friendly.

No one, no matter what you’re doing on the web, should risk search rank demotion. With 9 out of 10 mobile searches leading to action within an hour, being found above the fold and on the first page is always the goal in Google search results.

So the “mobile-friendly” tag is here and it’s here to stay. The ramifications for nonprofits could be very impactful. Get a great mobile website and frictionless giving today (it’s what we do!) and enjoy the benefits tomorrow and the next day and the next day and……

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.

Can they give online vs. will they give online-which wins at your nonprofit?

3 Dec

can

Much has been written here in our blog and elsewhere about this burning question.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has framed this same question obliquely in their recent posting about this matter. Here’s our blog from 2 weeks back with the data.

Yes, the online channel is the only one growing in the nonprofit world and yes, this means mostly via a PC…..for now. The questions posed here can both have a “YES” as answers but as the Chronicle points out, most nonprofits get a “YES” a donor “CAN” give but “NO” creeps in as the answer to “WILL” they give.

In other terms, yes people can donate online via your website using their PC but will they? Do you make it too hard to find out where the path to give begins and then are there too many pages and fields to complete? Most importantly, going back to our last blog, is there way too much friction in your online giving process.

When you look at your PC site on a mobile phone ask yourself “Would I do this? I know I can do this if I commit to it but do I really want to do this on my phone?” PC giving pages on mobile phones are slow to load, hard to navigate and there’s way to much pinching and swiping to figure out where to begin to give. Bottom line; this practice costs you donations.

This is where we come in. As I have always shared here in our blog, easy, secure and fast giving on any screen (mobile, tablet, PC) was the very first thing we went after and we did so precisely because our research showed that giving online has way too much friction in the process. And, the donor path varies so much.

On this last point I will go back to Amazon and point out that not only can you find pretty much anything you want but the purchase path is always the same. This encourages repeat purchases. How often do you think a donor asks themselves if they want to go through your online giving process again? Could this be part of what’s driving low repeat giving?

Donors would value the a known, and uniform way to give to any nonprofit instead of the path being pretty much unique to each nonprofit in the US. That’s hundreds of thousands of paths if not millions. Ugh.

Here’s the keys to getting to “they WILL donate to us online”:

-Don’t hide the “DONATE” button. Say this with me “Giving is not searching.”

-Remove all the friction from the giving process. Take out steps and needless fields.

-Add mobile-optimized giving for all your digital channels. Be real-they’re mobile channels anyways. Why use a PC experience on a mobile phone? Research suggests you’re losing donations. (Again, can is turned into won’t.)

-Make repeat giving as easy as buying a song online by letting donors save their info securely for repeat impulse gifts in seconds on any screen-tablet, PC or phone.

In summary, I must remind you that by a 2 to 1 margin people visit you online to give not to stay connected with you. With this being the case, you need a giving process for your donors that you can phrase as “THEY CAN, THEY WILL and thankfully THEY DO! give to us online on any screen!”

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.