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Mobile Fundraising and Text-to-Give FAQ

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mobile-fundraising-faqWhen you’re looking into mobile fundraising for your nonprofit, there are roughly a thousand important factors to consider. Okay, maybe there are fewer than a thousand.

There are some common concerns, like those about safety and security. Then there are some more practical considerations, like wondering if mobile fundraising would be the best fit for your organization.

Rest assured that we’ve compiled a complete list of all of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

To find the answer to your specific concern, click on any of the questions below to skip ahead:

Here you have it! The most frequently asked questions about mobile fundraising and text-to-give: 

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Is mobile fundraising secure?

A: The answer varies based on the mobile fundraising platform that you choose. Industry-leading mobile fundraising companies will offer multiple measures to protect your donor’s data. Make sure your provider uses two-factor authentication and that they store your credit card information in a PCI-compliant vault.

Tokenization is another feature that makes text-to-give and mobile fundraising safe and secure for all parties involved.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: What is PCI-compliance?

A: If a business is PCI-compliant, it means that they adhere to the stringent set of requirements set forth by the Payment Card Industry. It’s designed to ensure that all parties involved in a transaction are protected.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: What is tokenization?

A:  Tokenization is the process of substituting sensitive information (like a credit card number or a social security number) with a non-sensitive equivalent, which is referred to as a token. This “token” can’t be translated by anyone or anything except for the final payment processor. Essentially, it ensures that no one along the way can tamper with or steal your private information.

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mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Is text-to-give safe for donors?

A: Yes. For many of the same reasons that mobile fundraising is.

With text-to-give specifically, two-factor authentication ensures that your donors are real people who can verify that they want to donate. In addition, of course, credit card information (and other sensitive data) is tokenized. PCI-compliant credit card information vaults also guarantee your donor’s information security.

With the right mobile donation software, you can rest easy, and, most importantly, your donors can give freely.

If you still have questions, or if you just want to know a little bit more about the safety and security of mobile fundraising, check out this informative article: Are Mobile Donations Safe? Make Sure You’re Asking the Right Questions.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: How would mobile fundraising fit into my existing efforts?

A: Mobile fundraising is a lot like traditional and online fundraising. 

Launching a mobile fundraising campaign requires work and the allocation of resources to get started. It also requires maintenance once it’s gotten off the ground. But so does launching any other sort of fundraising campaign.And with mobile giving technology, people to donate to your cause from just about anywhere.

Let’s say for example that you’re running a homeless shelter, and your goal is to raise $2,000 to buy hats, gloves, and winter coats for those in need in your area this winter. One way you can raise enough money is by allowing donations to be submitted directly through email.

Snowball’s mobile fundraising platform features a unique email button that allows donors to give directly from their inboxes. As you can see from the example below, it really is as simple as clicking a button:


Like with the hats and gloves campaign, you can use mobile fundraising as a targeted campaign, or it can be a more general way to allow potential donors to submit donations anytime for any reason.

Whatever way your nonprofit chooses to fit mobile fundraising into its overall fundraising strategy, it’s a great tool to have on hand for donors on the go.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Do people actually donate via text?

A: The answer is a resounding yes! Text-to-give is so easy these days that it’s become a fairly common practice. You’re more likely to find a student willing to whip out an iPhone 6 than a checkbook any day.

Over 90% of adults in the US have smartphones. Even though most people assume that text-to-give is only popular among millennials, the average text-to-give donor is actually mostly likely to be 49 to 59 years old, female, married, and a college graduate.

To learn more about the statistics surrounding text-to-give and mobile fundraising, read this article: Mobile Fundraising Statistics.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Can mobile donors set up recurring donations?

A: Yes, although it may depend on what text-to-give software you choose. With Snowball, your donors can set up recurring weekly, monthly, or annual donations that only take only a couple of extra clicks! This feature is especially helpful for churches, since many churches use their text-to-tithe tools to collect offerings on a weekly basis.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Is there a way to keep track of mobile donor data?

A: Absolutely. Every nonprofit should be aware of donation trends and be well-versed in their donors’ habits and needs.

Next-generation mobile fundraising platforms provide nonprofits with more donor information than traditional mobile carriers would.

For instance, a traditional mobile carrier would supply your nonprofit with phone numbers and payment info. With next-generation platforms, you get phone numbers, email addresses, payment info, number of times each donor has donated, and how much they’ve donated each time.

This information is then easily exported into your donor database. You can use that data to inform your future fundraising decisions.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Do mobile carriers take a percentage of the money raised?

A: In some cases, yes. There are some providers that link up with mobile carriers–let’s call them cellular middlemen, and those middlemen take a large percentage of the profits–sometimes up to 50%.

But, there are some services out there, such as Snowball, that bypass the cellular middlemen.

Bypassing the middleman means:

1. Your nonprofit never loses out on funds to the cell phone provider.
2. Your organization doesn’t have to wait 90 days to see the money you’ve raised.

The point is: with the right provider, the money you raise is ultimately the money you keep.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Do you have to be a large nonprofit to benefit from mobile fundraising?

A: No. This is a common misconception.

Contrary to popular belief, nonprofits of all shapes and sizes can benefit from mobile fundraising. It’s a wide spectrum ranging from larger organizations, like Folds of Honor and the American Heart Association, all the way to smaller local churches and advocacy groups.

mobile-fundraising-faqQ: Is there a donation cap?

A: While it may vary by provider, some platforms don’t enforce a donation cap. So your donors can be as generous as they’d like.

Here’s your quick takeaway: Mobile fundraising is a totally safe, fun, and easy way to get donors to contribute to your nonprofit, whether you’re a David or a Goliath!

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