Little Known Ways to Gain Mobile Supporters

Jenifer Snyder

To help your nonprofit understand the benefits of having a mobile marketing strategy and how to implement one, we asked the good folks at The mGive Foundation to guest blog for us. Earlier, they let us know the top reasons to use mobile. Today Jenifer Snyder outlines several ways to starting building your mobile list.  ~Kivi

Guest Post by Jenifer Snyder, Esq.,  Executive Director of The mGive Foundation

“Text me.”

Friends or family members inviting conversation share these two words. Or they are sometimes shared by two people wanting to keep in touch via text,  as they seek a closer relationship.

How do you get your supporters to say “Text me” to you?

The method most successful mobile fundraisers use is to integrate mobile into what they are already doing.  

Here are some proven methods to get you started building your mobile network.

Make it Social with Branding:  What is more exciting – asking people for their cell number so you can occasionally text them or asking them to join other like-minded people who will work together for a common cause?   The organizations that do the best at gaining mobile supporters ask donors to join a branded mobile network so they feel they are connected with other people in a cause they care about in common.  This touches the need of human beings to be involved in a social way and also helps your program (and text messages) be more easily recognized and credible.   Branding keeps the “social” in “social good.”  And that’s important even when texting!

Tell Your Story:  Use mobile to tell your story.  Make your story compelling and give them a reason to be involved, then follow up by asking prospects to make a donation of time, money or resources, or ask them to opt-in to your mobile network.

Email Recruitment:  Increasingly our clients are finding that email is a great way to recruit donors into their mobile networks.  Email works so well that one client was able to reactivate lapsed donors, gaining opt-ins to their mobile network from a list that had been inactive and unresponsive for three-to-five years.  Make sure the email has the single purpose of recruitment and that the call to join is clear and graphically reinforced.  Email is a good way to brand your mobile campaign.  Here’s more information about how to use email to recruit for mobile.

Offline forms:  Collect mobile phone numbers on your offline forms at events.  You can solicit donors who provide it to opt-in to your mobile network.  Many clients have successfully gained mobile supporters by collecting mobile numbers at events.

Cause-Marketing Tie-in:  Include a specific appeal to supporters to opt-in through your cause marketing campaign.  Ask corporate partners to donate a certain amount for each new mobile community member acquired and use that gift as part of your appeal. One mGive client recruited more than 1,200 mobile supporters this way!

Event Recruiting:  One mGive client jumpstarted their mobile network by offering mobile community members a chance to win tickets to their organizational anniversary party.  Other clients have mobile signup forms at event registration tables.  You can also have volunteers serve as mobile network brand ambassadors walking through the event to get signups, as well as promote opt-ins through signage and announcements from the stage or dais.

Polling: Use mobile to survey donors – with one of the questions in the survey being about their willingness to receive donation information about your organization via mobile. Those who indicate their willingness can be recruited into your donor network.

Online forms:  Engaging donors to provide their mobile phone number in online forms – even if part of another online activity – can be very effective.  One of our clients – Defenders of Wildlife – solicited for mobile phone numbers during select advocacy campaigns (where they were asking supporters to send messages to elected officials through signing an online petition). Eighty-four percent of those who joined the Defenders mobile network this way went on to make at least one mobile donation.  These opt-ins became reliable donors – with nearly 40 percent donating more than once and 10 percent of those donating five or more times, in response to outbound text messages.

There are many ways to gain mobile supporters — these are just a few.  The key to all you do with mobile is integration and that starts with building your initial mobile network of supporters.  Follow these proven methods and you’ll be well on your way.

For more information about the basics of mobile fundraising and engagement, check out our mobile FAQs.

As executive director of The mGive Foundation, Jenifer is dedicated to expanding the scope and reach of the mobile channel for social good. She brings years of leadership experience in the mobile industry to the position. You can find frequent guest posts from Jenifer on the mBlog.