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What Are the Different Uses of Mobile Fundraising?

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4USESAlthough mobile fundraising is just one form of fundraising, it can be so much more than that for your nonprofit.

Your nonprofit can take advantage of all of the different ways that mobile fundraising can be used to grow and strengthen your network and increase your awareness of giving trends. You can fund specific projects and incite greater change with instantaneous communications.

From information capture, which can lead to more informed decision making, to peer-to-peer fundraising, which can increase your donation base ten-fold; mobile fundraising truly is the philanthropic tool of the future.

Listed below are a few of the top ways you can use mobile fundraising to your nonprofit’s advantage.

To skip ahead to a particular section in this article, click on one of the following links: 

    1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
    2. Direct Asks
    3. Pledges
    4. Funding Specific Projects
    5. Information Capture

Let’s take a look at the five major ways mobile fundraising technology is used! 

P2P-4#1. Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising is a method of raising money that leverages your supporters to fundraise on your behalf. It’s also known as social fundraising, team fundraising, or p2p fundraising.

One of the most important advantages of incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising along with your mobile fundraising campaign is that it actually increases your number of potential donors.

This works by engaging your existing network of donors to get the word out there for you.

You give a select few influencers the means to raise money for your nonprofit, and they then turn around and make personal appeals to their social networks. This includes asking friends, family, work acquaintances, and whomever else they may know.

Those friends and family then become new donors that might never have found out about your fundraising campaign otherwise. For every existing donor that you had contributing to your efforts, you’ll now have about a dozen more.

This process of leveraging your social influencers to reach a new network is proven, and it even has data to support its efficacy. For example, found that the top 5% of influencers on a nonprofit’s email list of 140,000 can reach 34 million people on average.

That’s a huge growth potential for your nonprofit that you won’t want to miss. Doing a bit of work to uncover which supporters have the biggest online reach can pay off immensely when your peer-to-peer campaign gets underway.

Plus, the benefits go beyond the new audience of donors your social influencers will help you discover.

Not only do you now have dozens more donors from employing peer-to-peer tactics, you also potentially have a larger volunteer base. Now that you have those new donors’ email addresses, you can easily add them to your existing email marketing list. Keep them updated on all of your upcoming volunteer opportunities!

Simply put, peer-to-peer fundraising multiplies your nonprofit’s reach.

With the inclusion of a mobile-friendly website, your peer-to-peer fundraising can now be more effective on the go. It’s the best of both worlds.

Not only are you raising more money when you have your donors reach out for you, you’re also gaining everyone in their network, which with social media, can mean hundreds of new “friends.”

Taking peer-to-peer mobile makes those personal appeals go that much further.

DIRECTASKS-2#2. Direct Asks

Mobile fundraising erases the barrier between your donors and your nonprofit.

In the past, nonprofits would only be able to send out paper requests for donations–or make a thousand phone calls. Unfortunately, paper letters have a tendency get lumped in with the rest of the mail that may never get sorted.

Even though your organization can (and should) still make use of these fundraising avenues, there are now several more efficient and less time-consuming ways to reach out to donors, such as:

  • Email blasts
  • Mobile-responsive websites
  • QR code promotions
  • And more!

If your nonprofit has a mobile-responsive website–meaning that it loads quickly and is easy to use on a smartphone–your donors can give to your nonprofit instantaneously.

By making your appeals mobile-friendly, your nonprofit can enjoy a steady influx of donations in no time at all.

With no papers to misplace and no phone calls to forget, your donors can now give whenever, wherever.

Take advantage of this by crafting targeted, direct asks with your mobile fundraising campaign.

The most effective online and mobile direct asks are:

  • Specific
  • Realistic
  • Straight-to-the-point.

If you keep these three principles in mind, you’re bound to go far.

PLEDGES#3. Pledges

Mobile pledging is:

• Simple
• Safe
• Swift

The main difference between mobile giving and mobile pledging is that with mobile pledging, donors don’t donate directly through texting or through a mobile site. They pledge through these mediums and then donate later in traditional ways.

What mobile pledging usually looks like:

  • A donor pledges or promises a certain amount of money via mobile device
  • There is a challenge or task involved (such as a run, walk, or bike-a-thon) that the donor must complete
  • That same donor fulfills their pledge by sending in a check or paying with a credit card after the completion of said challenge, such as at the end of “no-shave” November

Mobile pledges, also sometimes known as click-and-pledge drives, are great for your nonprofit because they inspire people to donate larger amounts of money than they might have given otherwise.

How does that work? Donors who pledge money upon the completion of a given task (like a 5K or another sort of challenge), don’t always end up completing said challenge. But more often than not, they complete the donation anyway–and they often give more than they originally intended to because they feel guilty for not completing the challenge.

In addition to donating more because they feel guilty about not running 3.1 miles, mobile pledge donors often donate a considerable amount because they feel like they’re contributing to a specific cause.

As we’ve said before (and we’ll probably say again), people tend to feel most generous when they feel that they’re moving toward a common goal with other people. Pledges create that common, attainable goal.

specificprojects#4. Funding Specific Projects

Of course, you can use mobile fundraising as one of your many standard giving avenues.

With mobile fundraising as a main way to give, your donors can:

    • Text-to-give on a regular basis
    • Set up recurring donations on your online donation page
    • Send your organization funds via email
    • Scan a QR code to view your mobile website when they’re on the go
    • And so much more!

That being said, mobile fundraising is also an incredible tool for raising money for a specific project. As you read about in “The 5 Most Notable Mobile Fundraising Campaigns” some of the most successful mobile fundraising campaigns in the world have had very specific goals in mind.

When people feel like they’re contributing toward a concrete cause, they feel far more compelled to give on the spot.

Centering a mobile fundraising campaign around a theme or idea is one of the most popular uses of mobile giving technology.

INFOCAPTURE#5. Information Capture

Top mobile fundraising platforms, like Snowball, provide your nonprofit with information automatically. Until now, cell phone companies would keep all of the information about mobile and text-to-give donors a secret.

There is a huge disparity between the information that a cell phone company would give a nonprofit and the kinds of information that you can gather with a mobile fundraising platform.

The kinds of information that cell phone companies would give nonprofits:

• Amount of money donated

The information that you get from mobile fundraising platforms:

• Name
• Phone number
• Email address
• Amount of donation
• Number of donations
• Dates and times of donations

Automatic information capture gathers all pertinent donor information and places it into an easy-to-export format. From there, your nonprofit can import the new information into your donor data management system.

Screen shot of sample donation information in an @Pay dashboard

The way your nonprofit uses this information is up to you, but many nonprofits use this automatically gathered info to:

• Figure out the best times to email donors
• Keep in contact with donors through their personal favorite modes of communication
• Update donors and members in real time
• Keep track of trends and improve overall strategy

The more you know, the more informed decisions you can make. As you rework your own strategies, you’ll come to find that having the information you need at your fingertips is a huge blessing.

There are so many different ways that mobile fundraising can improve your nonprofit’s overall fundraising. All you have to do is pick and choose what works best for you!

Click here to return to our mobile fundraising guide, or continue your fundraising research with a few additional resources:


Mobile giving has never been easier with Snowball!

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