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Increasing Donations for Charities Has Never Been Easier

In recent times, technology has completely revolutionized the way nonprofits can raise money and engage with their supporters.

Mobile Fundraising is a HUGE Opportunity for Nonprofit Organizations

There are now over 1 BILLION smart phone users on the planet!

Mobile fundraising allows us to reach people at new moments, including dawn (66% of people claim to wake up with their phones at arm's reach).

Finding the proper time to encourage donations can be just as important as the method of requesting. According to Paypal data, Fridays and Mondays, particularly during the mornings, were the most popular days and times for giving.

Mobile technology gives us this opportunity, to reach out to supporters and keep them engaged and interacting with important matters any time of the day or night.

Now is the Time to go Mobile

Smart phones have become the new wallet, replacing checks and cards as the easier, faster and more portable way to connect and transact. And the same holds true for charitable giving. The old models of fundraising are rapidly giving way to a new paradigm for donor engagement with mobile phones and other mobile devices at the core of how people connect with their favorite causes.

According to Paypal - Total charitable giving through PayPal in 2013 was $633.8 million dollars and resulted in a 34% increase from charitable giving in 2012. When looking at online and mobile donations specifically, online giving in 2013 increased 21% over 2012, for a total of $570.7 million donated; mobile giving totaled $63.1 million dollars in 2013. We believe online and mobile donations will continue to increase, but our work here is far from complete. Nonprofits still need to adopt disruptive giving solutions that are more in line with the way consumers are communicating, doing business and making transactions.

Getting Started with Mobile Fundraising

Where do you start if you want to make the most of mobile fundraising? Going mobile can feel overwhelming, but you can start with a few simple steps:

Step 1.

Create a Mobile Friendly Website

First and foremost you need to understand how people experience your current website on mobile devices.

If people have to scroll from side to side or drag the screen to enlarge sections of your pages so they are readable, then the first thing you need to do is get a mobile version of your website created.

A website that is not mobile friendly A website that is not mobile friendly

User must scroll from side to side and zoom in to see the information User must scroll from side to side and zoom in to see the information

Option 1.

Consider creating a mobile-optimized mini-site which will be automatically detectable by Smartphone's when someone browses your website from a mobile device. You don't have to put your entire website offerings on such a site just the most important parts. Otherwise users will simply give up on your site out of frustration and simply close it.

Once this mini-site site is built your website builder simply needs to insert a small line of code into your existing website, which will tells the server to load the mini-site when someone browses it on a mobile device.

Example of a website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices Example of a website that is optimized for viewing on mobile devices

Option 2.

If your website was built using a template, then you may want to contact the organization who built your website and ask them to change the template to what is commonly referred to as a 'responsive theme.' This means that whatever device the user is on, whether it be a desktop computer, and iPhone/Android device or even a tablet, your website will automatically respond to the screen size and adjust your content to fit.

Option 3.

Have your website rebuilt from the ground up using a responsive theme. This is something no-one wants to undertake as it can be a very costly exercise, especially if your current website has a lot of content.

However if your website is due for an overhaul then instruct your web developer to make sure it is optimized for viewing on all mobile and desktop devices.

Step 2.

Option 1.

Text to Give – SMS Campaign

Here's how it works: Nonprofits ask donors to make a donation by texting a keyword to a short code on their mobile phones. The donation shows up as a charge on the user's next mobile phone bill. The provider transfers the donations to the designated nonprofit and then bills the charity for the processing fees incurred — typically about 7 percent of each donation. Some providers offering these services charge up to a $499 monthly fee for their text to give services. Some providers also claim it can take up to 90 days to receive the funds that are raised.

Text to give has its benefits; however technology has given way to new, less costly ways for non profits to raise funds via mobile.

Option 2.

Develop a Mobile Application

Your very own mobile application can do much more than just text subscribers and ask for money.

Mobile applications are one of most cost efficient and effective ways to increase supporters and raise more funds and awareness for your important causes.

What Can a Mobile App do for Your Organization?

The ability to reach out to people for support in the moment of crisis.

Supporters can make donations with a click of a button. Complete reporting and 100% remittance of funds. 0% transaction fees.

Integrate with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube and Instagram spreading the word about your important matters via social media.

Send unlimited free instant mobile messages including images--direct to your supporters, notifying them of pressing matters, important updates and achievements--keeping them involved and interacting every step of the way​. Mobile messages have 99% open rates and 90% are read within three minutes. Additionally, mobile marketing strengthens response rates for email, direct mail and social media.

- Link messages direct to web pages or a tab within your app.

- Segment your audience for the most relevant and effective communications​

​Setup in app purchases to raise funds for your organization, for example merchandise, event tickets etc.

In depth analytics so you can see how supporters are interacting with your app and see what campaigns are working the best.

Right now you have supporters that are willing to download your app and carry your cause in their pocket at ALL times.

Mobile Fundraising is a Reality and It's Here Now

Start taking small steps to make the most of the mobile web, and you'll see real rewards today and in the years to come.

We understand how important it is to educate and inform people of urgent matters that are going on around the world, and there truly has never been a better opportunity to get your message out there.

Don't delay it any longer, let's spread the word to as many people as we can and make a real difference.

Here at Smarter App Development we understand the importance of focusing on what your good at, and we truly admire the work you do to make a positive difference for our planet. Let us help you to develop a complete mobile solution and get your cause in front of the masses of mobile users around the world…

Get started today and email your request to

Larissa Carrus Larissa Carrus

The preceding is a cross-post of an article by Larissa Carrus, marketing manager at Smarter App Development, a leading mobile application development provider that specializes in developing mobile apps and mobile websites for charities and nonprofit organizations. You can read the original post on the Smarter App Development site here. Larissa's goal is to help nonprofit organizations understand how to use mobile marketing to grow their supporter base, increase donations, and raise awareness for their cause via mobile devices. She is an entrepreneur with 15 years experience in Internet marketing, SEO and website development and she is passionate about sharing her knowledge for the purpose of good.

Topics: Fundraising