John Killoran

John Killoran

John Killoran, CEO of @Pay, got us started last week in Mobile Fundraising 101: The Basics. This week he’s back to show you how to market your mobile fundraising campaign. ~Kristina

Guest Post by John Killoran

Text-to-give technology gives you the best of both worlds: effectiveness and efficiency. It not only allows you to raise money from more donors on the go; it also allows you to do so almost instantaneously.

Mobile fundraising and text-to-give technology can accomplish multiple feats in one fell swoop! With one short message, your nonprofit can:

  • Get the word out about an event.
  • Raise money for a specific project.
  • Boost awareness about your nonprofit’s good work.
  • And so much more!

But what good would all this amazing efficiency and efficacy do if no one knew about it? That’s why you have to have a solid marketing plan in place for your text-to-give campaign.

Let’s explore how your nonprofit can better market text-to-give to your donors.

Below you’ll learn to:

  1. Integrate Mobile into Your Existing Marketing
  2. Set Time Aside at Live Events
  3. Set Attainable Goals
  4. Appeal to All Ages

#1. Integrate Mobile into Your Existing Marketing

This might seem like a no-brainer. But just like with anything that you incorporate into your overall fundraising strategy, mobile fundraising will take resources and allocations from your existing marketing funds.

Obviously, making this transition will take some work. It can be made easier by taking advantage of what you already have at your disposal.

Here are some concrete areas where you can make mention of your mobile fundraising plans:

  • Direct mail newsletters
  • Magazines and other publications
  • Annual reports
  • Drip email campaigns
  • And so many more!


The way you use your existing channels of communication is flexible, but slipping in an extra bit of information here and there to make the introduction of mobile giving feel like a more natural progression within your organization can only help with the transition.

Takeaway: Making use of the existing communications channels you have will boost your mobile fundraising with minimal extra effort.

#2. Set Aside Time at Live Events

There are few better places to spread the word about your mobile fundraising efforts than at a live event.

You would be much more likely to try something new if everyone in your immediate vicinity was participating. So of course, it wouldn’t be any different with encouraging people to donate to your nonprofit’s mobile campaign.

All you have to do is get the right trendsetters on the bandwagon!

Whether it’s at a rock concert or an awareness event (or somewhere right in the middle), it only takes a minute to incite a crowd to feel charitable.

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The key is to set the time aside at your next live event (preferably one where there will be a significant amount of participants/attendees) to explain the process and allow people to try it out for themselves.

Some live event ideas that are great for marketing mobile giving:

  • 5K or 10K races
  • Benefit concerts
  • Family fun festivals
  • Charity challenges

The sky’s really the limit. Just use your imagination and keep in mind that people love to feel like they’re a part of something larger than themselves.

Takeaway: At your next large event, take the stage and let people know about your latest and greatest fundraising outlet: mobile giving!

#3. Set Attainable Goals

You know the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Cliché as it may be, it’s pretty applicable here.

Your nonprofit won’t make mobile converts of its donors overnight. Or maybe even within a couple of months.

Like all worthy endeavors, marketing your mobile fundraising campaign takes time and patience.

Even if you make a heartfelt public appeal at your annual awareness concert, and you have thousands of mobile donors flooding your organization with contributions and well wishes, you can’t stop there.

You have to set goals for yourself and for your organization. If you shoot for the moon, you may be disappointed. But if you keep it realistic, you may just be surprised by how receptive your donors can be.

Good goals start out small. For instance, if you’re new to mobile fundraising, a good goal would be to try to capture 200 new mobile leads over the next couple of months.

Obviously, over time, these goals will change not only in magnitude but also in type. You won’t be trying to capture new leads forever. Eventually, the conversation will switch to retaining mobile donors.

Bonus tip: you can increase your monthly donations by offering your donors the option to give recurring text donations.

Again, as with anything worth doing, you have to keep at it. Set monthly, quarterly, yearly, and even 5-year goals.

Takeaway: Setting realistic goals for mobile fundraising sets your organization up for success.

#4. Appeal to All Ages

Above all else, you must know your target audience.

It can be really easy to dismiss mobile giving as a young person’s game.

The reality is: nearly everyone in the United States owns and operates a smartphone and/or tablet on a daily basis. To put this in perspective, in a country comprising over 300 million people, over 200 million of those people own smartphones, according to the latest Pew poll.

That number includes all adults, ages 18-65+.

While it’s almost a given that young people (18-35) would climb on the mobile giving bandwagon, it’s been questioned whether or not those over 35 would be as interested.

Don’t let that latter demographic slip through the cracks. Keep them interested with marketing that’s targeted specifically toward them. Get to know what the donors in that key bracket care about and respond to.

If it’s ease of use they’re concerned about: address it by demonstrating step-by-step how easy it is to give via mobile.


If it’s security that has them wary: give them peace of mind by reassuring them that text-to-give is safe and secure for every party involved.


In any case, it’s important to take into account the differing needs of your giving population and plan accordingly.

Takeaway: Varying your approach to marketing for different ages guarantees that all parties involved are happy.

If you integrate mobile into your existing strategy, market mobile at live events, set attainable goals for yourself, and account for different giving needs and wants, you’re bound to start seeing some positive change, sooner rather than later.

Let text-to-give be the dream team for your nonprofit organization, and raise more money on the go than ever before!

John Killoran is CEO of @Pay, an exciting new fundraising technology that makes it easy for people to donate in two clicks from text, email, web and social media sites.  John pioneered SMTP payments and has been a major innovator in the mobile payments space for the past 5 years.     When he is not running a company, he is cooking food for his family and telling his dogs to stop barking.

Published On: March 1, 2016|Categories: Fundraising|