Jenifer Snyder

Jenifer Snyder

This month’s post from Jenifer Snyder of mGive looks at how you can apply mobile fundraising and marketing lessons from the classic Wizard of Oz.  ~Kivi

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

This year the Academy Awards will feature a tribute to the classic and beloved film The Wizard of Oz, in honor of the movie’s 75th anniversary.

We think there is something everyone can learn from Oz…even about mobile fundraising!  Here are a few famous lines from the classic movie and how we think you can apply them to your mobile program.

Wizard of Oz:  “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”

Survey your mobile donors to make sure you are communicating the right messages to them in the right way and at the right time.  Text messaging can be a dialogue and the 97 percent open rate that mobile attains means you will get a good response.  Open-ended, multiple choice and true/false or yes or no survey questions are possible.  Let your mobile donors know you care about what they think and they will care more about you.

Dorothy:  “How do you talk if you don’t have a brain?”
Scarecrow:  “Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don’t they?”

Your messages have to be meaningful to the recipient.  When recruiting donors into your mobile network apply segmentation and targeting techniques.  When sending messages, continue to segment.  Taking the time to survey as outlined above will make you even more effective in getting the right message to the right donors.  If your messages are relevant to the recipient you will be perceived as smart…otherwise you’re just talking without a brain.

Munchkin:  “Follow the Yellow Brick Road!”

Dorothy got to the Emerald City by taking that first step on the Yellow Brick Road.  You start your path to creating a robust, devoted mobile community by obtaining one mobile number at a time.  Create a path for your mobile donors that is more than just about text donations.  How do you involve them in social media?  Volunteer activities?  Making larger donations via more traditional methods?  Don’t leave your mobile donors stuck on the Yellow Brick Road…give them a path to success and they will end up in the Emerald City!

Dorothy: “My! People come and go so quickly here!

This is one way that mobile is NOT like Oz…people stay with their mobile numbers, in most cases for seven years or more.  A mobile phone number is quickly becoming as permanent as a social security number…people may move, they may change emails, but they’re likely to keep their mobile number.  You are less likely to see attrition on your mobile list due to out-of-date numbers.

Wicked Witch of the West:  “I’ll get you my pretty…and your little dog too!”

The Wicked Witch was relentless in her pursuit of Dorothy and Toto and you should be dogged in your acquisition of mobile supporters.  While we don’t recommend the winged monkey approach, online advertising, email campaigns, promotion at events, on your website and online forms, as well as outreach on social media, are all tactics you can deploy to build your mobile community.

Dorothy: “…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.”

And if your heart’s desire is building a mobile community you can start with your own back yard – your current supporters.  Make sure to add a field to collect mobile numbers for your current donors and supporters online and offline.  Simply taking this step is the single most effective method for beginning a mobile community. Converting your current supporters into members of your mobile community is far less expensive than acquiring brand new donors—through any communications channel.

Auntie Em:  “Help us out today and find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble!”

Dorothy:  “A place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain… “

[begins to sing “Over the Rainbow”]

You can’t just ask people to join your mobile community without giving them a reason that touches their hearts.  Connect with their hope to make a difference for social good.  Offering hope for a changed condition, a better world, a “place where there isn’t any trouble” to use Dorothy’s words, is as important to emphasize in mobile as it is with your other forms of communication.  Let them see the other side of the Rainbow.

Changes in communication and technology can give us all the unsettled “we’re not in Kansas anymore” feeling, like when Dorothy first set foot in Oz.  But follow these few Oz-inspired tips and you’ll be melting witches in no time and reaping the rewards bestowed by the Wizard of Oz himself.

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.

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