No more carrier based nonprofit fundraising solutions, please.

22 Jul


I love true innovation and disruption.

Some things are billed as new and innovative (and really aren’t) and somethings truly are innovative. The “sharing economy” or as some politicians have awkwardly (they don’t know anything do they?) called the “gig economy” have spawned true innovations.

As it pertains to nonprofit fundraising I am always on the lookout for true innovation.

Last week I saw an announcement of a new fundraising platform so in the spirit of looking for innovation in this space I checked it out.

The platform is called “TPO” for “The People’s Operator,” and it’s a mobile phone service that allows customers to donate part of their phone bill to their favorite non-profit.

TPO’s rate plans start at $32 per month and they say they will give 10% of a phone bill to the subscriber’s favorite nonprofit. In essence TPO becomes your wireless provider on some one else’s network.

Philanthropy by individuals is a passion here at RAZ Mobile for sure, so on one hand I salute TPO but on the other hand this isn’t an innovation nor do I consider this to be a “cool” service.

In fact, I think it’s kind of lame.

Let me explain.

Donors want to give straight to the cause of their choice and increasingly this means online and mobile with 100% going to the cause immediately.

Having my donation go through a carrier is not a direct donation. Nor does this sound like a service that will provide donor info to the cause since carriers in the US aren’t supposed to be sharing my info with anyone but authorities in response to subpoenas.

So how does this help a nonprofit? Yes, the money will get to them eventually but do I really want my donation sitting at the carrier for a few weeks? Nope.

Do I want my donation limited to $3 per month? Nope. If I’m having a good day and I’m in the moment so-to-speak what do I do if I want to give $100? Can’t happen with TPO.

I’d have to search for the cause on my phone and then, as way too many profits do today, I’d have to try to complete my donation via their PC giving page on my phone.

Can we all agree that giving money to a platform first and then letting them hold it and forward it on to the cause later just needs to go the way of the typewriter?

Just as people needing a ride summon cars with Uber, just as they create their own radio stations with Spotify, just as they rent rooms from the owners of the room with AirBNB, the notion of how to give is changing and the 80 million millennials want to give DIRECTLY to nonprofits they believe in. I think Boomers feel the same way.

TPO would benefit from adding unlimited frictionless mobile giving to their philanthropy efforts. And I just happen to know who they can talk to. Me.

Dale Knoop leads a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a powerful platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Today, all causes need a content-rich mobile presence that can be shared through text messages, social media, email and more and best of all-quickly and securely process 100% of donations from motivated supporters with a minimum of friction in seconds with no passwords. If your nonprofit needs custom development of a mobile solution to fit your mission please click here. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space.


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