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Five Mobile Tools to Help You Raise More Money During COVID-19

HubSpot Video

July 09, 2020

With in-person fundraising events on hold for the foreseeable future, Give by Cell offers many solutions that can help keep your donor dollars flowing. 

Our experts will dissect five popular ways to use mobile: 

  • Putting on virtual fundraising events that exceed expectations
  • Keeping in touch with donors so you stay top of mind
  • Helping employees to stay motivated and engaged 
  • Revamping your social media to include mobile and increase funds
  • Widen your net of supporters through easy-to-implement outbound text messaging

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Full Transcript

Patty Ruland: Hi everybody and welcome to today's webinar session. My name is Patty Ruland. I'm with Give by Cell. I'm joined with my colleague Emily White today and we're going to spend the next 30 minutes talking with you about mobile tools that can help you increase your donations or funds during COVID-19 pandemic. Before we get started, why don't you go ahead and enter your name and the organization you're with and maybe where you're located in the chat window. We always like to know who we’re speaking to. I always say I have one of the best jobs in the world because I get to work with so many organizations. I feel like I'm a part of each and every one of my clients’ organizations because I'm helping them, you know, further their cause so again, feel free to go ahead and enter your name, your organization name and where you're located in the chat window. We're going to get started in just a few minutes. We have some folks still joining for those who are already on the call. I've got a great support team here --Molly and Kim from our marketing department. They're going to be advancing the slides and building some questions for us and they're also going to throw up a couple surveys to kick things off to kind of get an idea as to what's going on. So gals, would you like to throw up the first survey the first poll for everybody to answer? So on your screen. You should see a little green bar. It'll say virtual event intro and ask the question if you want to go ahead and just select one of the three choices will give everybody a minute or so to do that and then we'll show the results. I see we have some new friends and old friends signing on in the chat window. Hi Jeff. I know I've spoken with Jeff in the past. We've got Valerie. We've got Cindy, we've got people from all over the country, which I love. Our company is based in San Francisco. We've closed recently. So we're all working from home. Best we can. I'm personally located in Scottsdale Arizona where it's about a hundred and ten degrees right now. Emily is in Georgia where it is, very humid and hot. So ladies, why don't we go ahead and show the results of the first poll?

Yeah, I'm not surprised at the high level or the high number of folks that are going to be hosting virtual events coming up. We have another one if we can go ahead and get that set up. So basically I have spoken with so many people over the past couple of months that have to postpone their in-person events, their breakfasts, their lunches, their galas, things like that, and it's so disappointing because people look forward to these things every year. So go ahead and choose your answer. We'll give you one more second or so. And let's see the results. Wow, it wasn't what I was expecting. But yeah, so 81 percent of you have had to cancel events, unfortunately, and we'll talk a little bit about ways to incorporate mobile into virtual events. If you're having to convert in person to virtual, but let's go ahead we have one last poll question.

Let's go ahead and put that up. And we'll give you a minute or so.

Emily White: David I see that your son attends Georgia Tech my twin brother actually graduated from Georgia Tech with an aerospace engineering degree. So go Jackets.

Patty Ruland: And let's go ahead and show the results of the last poll. And then we'll go ahead and get started. Okay, so we do have a small group who have done text to donate in the past, some that are unsure, so for a whole bunch of you that this might be new for you. So that's really exciting for me Emily and myself are both passionate about what we do and the products and services that we offer. So hope this is going to be a little informative session for you. So with that said, let's go ahead. And get started. Let's move to the next slide, As I had mentioned earlier, my name is Patty Ruland. I'm a Solutions Consultant here with Give by Cell. I've been with the organization for a little over six years now and it's such a great experience working with organizations to help further them along and you know their development needs and so forth and I'm joined today by Emily White our Project Manager. She works with a lot of our clients to customize their experience. She's an expert in marketing best practices and so forth. Emily, why don't you just introduce yourself and we'll go ahead and get started.

Emily White: Yeah. Hi everyone. Like Patty said I am the project manager here at Give by Cell and I have had the pleasure of being with give myself for a year now and it has been such a great experience working with nonprofits and cultural institutions. So, I'm looking forward to the future. So Patty, let's get started.

Patty Ruland: Excellent. A little bit about this kind of presentation: So if you've attended any of our presentations over the last couple of months, we've done a lot of informative type webinars. We've discussed things like remote worker burnout and all different types of situations that have arisen and when we finish these great presentations that gets discussion started and then people always say but you didn't talk about your product and what you're selling and what you offer and so forth. So this is kind of the session where we're really going to talk about that. Like I said, we are super excited about mobile. We're all passionate here about the stuff that we provide in the organizations that we work with. I'm not necessarily trying to sell you on our service but just mobile in general. If you choose us for some type of project, great, but we want to give you that information that you can take back to your organization looking at new ways to potentially conduct business with what's going on lately. So let's go ahead and move along. We are a division of Engage by Cell. We are a mobile technology company. We started offering fundraising into our platform about years and years ago  - 12 years or so we have about four to five thousand clients, both domestic and international. We have clients in Canada, Mexico, throughout Europe and so forth and we seem to have a great grasp on what's going on currently. A lot of it comes through our clients with these great ideas. A lot of it comes to our engineering folks and so forth. So we really feel we offer a complete solution to help people break into using mobile technology. Here's just a few of our nonprofits that we work with you might recognize some of the names we work with. I should preface it by saying we work with the tiniest of tiny, you know, two person animal shelter all the way up to, you know, whatever. You see a United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so forth. So we have something to fit all types of organizations. So a lot of people have the misconception it’s only for the larger type organizations and that's absolutely false. So as we discussed in the surveys with what's been going on the past couple of months with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen live events being canceled. They want to have events, but they can’t. Do they go virtual? Do they not go virtual? How can they still do it? How can people still be involved? Emily, do you want to kind of expand on that? Well as far as you know, how people are sort of making that transition?

Emily White: Yes so, you know, especially with COVID-19. This is such an unprecedented time. No one really knew that this was coming. No one prepared for this. So basically, our platform is not only a game changer for everyday life in a normal situation without COVID-19. But this is truly a game changer for you know, these live events that are being canceled and still keeping your constituents involved in your organization.

Patty Ruland: Absolutely. We got a question right off the bat and I'm gonna address it now. Normally I kind of weave it into the presentation or we do questions at the end. But one of our attendees asked or mentioned that their demographic in their area seems to be an older audience. You know, it used to be everybody thought that it was more for, you know, the younger groups, millennials and so forth. That is simply not the case anymore. More and more spanning through the generations people are using text messaging and their phones for different types of activities. I'm not saying those folks are doing everything on their phones, but they are definitely doing certain tasks whether they're calling an Uber or they’re, you know, doing some banking or they're ordering something from Amazon or something like that. Also texting is the way that people are communicating now. Nobody is sending emails anymore and specifically for generations to keep in touch, you know, grandkids text their grandparents pictures and they text back.  So I think in the past we've given the the older, we'll say the older generation, a little less credit than they deserve because they've actually had to learn a new technology later in life and they've been able to pick up on it, you know, simply to stay relevant in their friends and families lives. So, I always say give them a little more credit and you'd be surprised to see the results that you know, some folks have when they think that it's not going to be right for their audience. So what I'm going to do is these are the topics that we're going to be hitting on today. These are all tools that we offer and we'll touch upon each of those briefly. And then like I said as we go through if you have questions, please type it in the question answer slot or type it in the chat window. Someone will, or one of my gals in the marketing department will relay it to us and we'll try to get them answered as best as possible. So let's go ahead and dive in. Mobile give is a great service. And most of you are probably familiar with it because you've seen it on TV for either hurricane relief or fire relief or some other kind of natural disaster or raising money for the American Cancer Society and so forth. It's reserved exclusively for nonprofit organizations. This is the service that is where the donor texts in a keyword to a shortcode they get a text back saying to confirm your $10 donation reply with the word “Yes,” and then a small that small ten dollar donation gets added to their cell phone bill and it gets paid when they you know, they get their bill on, they pay it and then submitted through. There are a few prerequisites for this service. You must be a 501(c)(3) in business for at least a year and on last year's revenue 990 form show at least half a million dollars in revenue. As with all of our services there's pluses and minus positive and negative depending upon your organization. This works great for some but we have other solutions that work best for other types also. So let's talk a little bit about what this looks like. If you have a cell phone with you, you can go ahead and text in if you want. This really isn't a visual type service. Like I said, donors would text a keyword to short code. They would get back a message that looks similar to this and it's, you know, completed in just a few moments. So it's probably the quickest and easiest way for your donor to make a donation. Let's move on to our next service which is mobile donate. Works similarly to Mobile Give except it has a visual component to it. So Emily, why don't you talk about the branding and so forth with mobile donate.

Emily White: So our mobile donate platform is 100% completely customizable down to the donation amount and how much donor data that you would like to collect. So as you can see, this is a demo and you know, I just added like an ABC company logo. Wou can add video you can add it you can add text, images, and you can also change this out throughout the year for specific campaigns etc.

Patty Ruland: Yeah. I can't tell you how many customers we have will change it seasonally or based upon a specific campaign they have running, you know. Come November all of our clients have a #givingtuesday logo in that spot. Great thing about this service is, you can have your donor donating any dollar amount. You're not limited to those small price points like you are that are billed to the cell phone. If a donor doesn't want to use their credit card, they could also use their PayPal account. No eligibility requirements. The service is open to everybody. I think if we move to the next slide we have a little example. So those of you who have a cell phone with you go ahead and create a new text message. Emily, do you want to explain to them how they do this?

Emily White: Yes, so if you all could compose a new text message, you are going to send the word “Henry” to our short code, which is 56512. And then you will press send and you should automatically get a message back with a link to this donation page.

Patty Ruland: Excellent. And we have gotten a couple of questions about Mobile Give, the first service we've talked about versus the mobile donate. So if you don't qualify for the mobile give this is a great option. Pricing is comparable. It's structured a little differently, but it's similar, and as I had indicated earlier, we have packages for all sized organizations. So feel free to inquire about both. We’ll do the cost breakdown. Actually, we're offering a special to webinar attendees and you’ll see that at the end, but you probably received an email or a call from one of our consultants. They would be the person who would go over the pricing with you. One other thing somebody asked about getting a copy of the PowerPoint that we're showing right now. We are recording this and we will be sending out the slides and the recording for you to you know, if you want to show anybody else at your organization or review at a later time. So another neat service, and this is probably one of my favorite services, is what we call the screencast thermometer. This is great for your live events. And I know people aren't hosting live events right now. I'm going to pretend that things are normal and there are actually events going on. This is a great thing to have at your galas, your breakfasts, your dinners and so forth where you can project onto a big screen or monitors around the room a thermometer and you have your MC do a call-to-action have everybody get out their phones and text in to make a donation.The thermometer rises. The crowd gets excited. They see you getting closer to the goal. They start donating more which is great. We've had events that have had tables compete against tables as to who can donate or raise the most money and so forth and it could also be paired with our other services. One of the neat things since we're not hosting live events anymore, or in-person events I should say, is we've actually been able to embed this into our mobile donation page. So after a donor makes a donation on the mobile donate form like you saw earlier, there's a little button they tap on that's as you progress and boom pops up the thermometer. So again, as people see that you're achieving, you know, you're moving up you're getting closer to goals and so forth which sometimes if they see you're getting close, they might give a little more just to bump you up and get you to that level. So it's really exciting. And Emily, why don't you talk a little bit about again, our project manager, she's our brand specialist, about different things that can be incorporated.

Emily White: Yeah, so just like our mobile donation platform, you can customize the thermometer to match your, you know, specific event or your organization. You can also change it throughout the year or utilize this for one-time event. You can add a gif in the background. You can add images and then also, you know, I think we are able to customize the thermometer further if you need that as well.

Patty Ruland:  Yeah, and we just had a question. Could it be used at a virtual event? Absolutely. I can't tell you how many organizations we have who have this in the background and they switch over to their MC or something and they do their call to action and they put this thermometer on the screen. So it does transition well from you know an in-person event to a virtual event. Emily, why don't you tell folks a little bit about how they can use straight standard text messaging to help them either raise money, get people involved,  recruit, you know, volunteers and so forth.

Emily White: Okay, so we also offer a text messaging platform that you can actually upload a list of your, you know, event goers. You can ask for your attendees to actually RSVP to an event so that you'll know exactly who's coming. You can also push out text messages during the event, you know, informing your attendees whenever you know, the silent auction is about to end or you know, make sure you grab a gift bag, etc and you could also push out fundraising milestones.  We also offer a feature that is called two-way text messaging which you can actually, from the admin dashboard or your cell phone, you can respond to, you know, one person's text message or response, which is great. So also you could send out a post-event follow-up as well. Those are just some of the ways that you could utilize the text messaging platform for your events.

Patt Ruland. Absolutely and we have found, and this is probably nothing new to most of you, email is not giving you the bang for the buck that it used to. In boxes are overflowing. Things are going into spam, but text messaging is such an effective way to communicate. We all use it in our personal life. It's moving now more into the corporate world. And you know, fundraising is just another great fit for text messaging. Letting people, you know, pushing out a link saying hey tickets go on sale on Sunday. Click here. That links directly to your ticket sales page. Sending out updates about either cancellations or postponements. Letting people know, you know, what's going on, since we're not necessarily as visual with the pandemic. Making people continue to feel connected. You know, one of the big questions I get when I talk to people is this: Times are tough. People are out of work. Do we ask? Do we run campaigns? And I’ve always said this for years: If you do not ask for it, you will not get it. Those who can donate and haven't necessarily been affected, are more than happy to do it. Those who maybe have a little extra money and are trying to decide what to do with it, give them a compelling reason as to why they should give it to you. Make them feel like you are part of you know, they're part of your organization.  Give them the “why,” you know, and again, the speed and efficiency of texting that information is really beneficial. It kind of cuts through, I hate to say it, it cuts through all the crap but text messaging almost forces you to kind of get straight to the point and and try to, you know, make things as impactful as possible. So like I said, overall text messaging is a, you know, if you're just looking to dip your toe into mobile technology, start using text messaging to reach out to your volunteers or to your donors or to a specific group and so forth. It's like I said, a great tool and it's been a game changer for what's been going on recently. So the last thing we're going to talk about is how to get creative with your call-to-action and Emily, why don't you again talk about different types of, you know, things that we've heard from our customers, things that we've suggested and so forth, right?

Emily White: So, you know getting creative to your call to action, whether that's on social media or you know, through a text message or an email, you know, wou want to grab the attention of your donors and constituents. So getting creative, you know, making them remember, in this case a little jingle, you know, about your organization and it's just all so that's a huge game changer. It's a part of you know, running a successful fundraising campaign.

Patty Ruland: We've seen so many different ways that people are starting to get creative with it. We work with an organization called Chorus America and they have an annual conference that you know people attend from all over the country. There's choral groups from everywhere. What they ended up doing was broadcasting a virtual event. They had all their choral groups that were scheduled to perform record numbers and so forth and they also do a good deal of their fundraising through this. So they actually recorded a little video to encourage people to donate. I'm going to have the marketing gals hit that play button. The song will probably be stuck in your head. We will only play a little bit of it. But like I said, it's been stuck in my head for about a week and a half now.

{Chorus America video plays}

Patty Ruland: Looks like we have another question here from Cindy. We have a small contact list and depend on our list to reach out to friends and other potential donors. Yeah, absolutely. The text can be forwarded. You can also embed into your website or your social media sites. Having people opt-in to receive information from you as well as texting in to make a donation. So quickly, we're going to wrap this up and then we're going to answer hopefully any questions you might have. We decided to offer a special for webinar attendees. I'm feeling kind of like an infomercial right now, but wait, there's more. So anybody who signs up for a new service and we work on an annual service contract. Anybody who signs up by 17th which is next Friday. Sign up for a year of service, you'll get six months free. And if you signed up by the end of the month, you'll get three months free. So hopefully that's a little incentive for you to, like I said, dip your toe in, give mobile a try and so forth. Let's go ahead and field some questions here.

Emily White: I saw Patty. I saw one earlier about Mobile Give that I wanted to answer. So someone asked, does it apply only to 501(c)(3)s or all 501(c) organizations? So, I believe it has to be a public operating 501(c)(3). It cannot be private operating correct?

Patty Ruland: Yeah, and it has to have the 501(c)(3) designation and the other key component is the showing the revenue on your previous year's 990. Again, that's something those regulations and qualifications are set forth by the mobile giving foundation and the cell phone carriers. So unfortunately, we're not able to make exceptions to that rule. Looks like here there's a couple of questions about event auctions. Sorry, I'm just trying to read the question here. Event auctions have very specialized needs and the vendor landscape is crowded with firms that focus exclusively on auctions. I only mean that respectfully, yeah, no thankful. We can integrate with a lot of event softwares and I mean like you can do things like, if you have our fundraising thermometer, you can add those auction sale prices on the backend to show on the thermometer and things like that. So if you're looking for something that kind of ties a bunch of different systems together, a lot of folks will use us for that purpose also. Looks like we have a question from Rowan. How do the organizations receive the money raised through the text through donate service? So with the first service we talked about, Mobile Give, you’re issued monthly checks or monthly ACH deposits from the Mobile Giving Foundation. With the text to donate service, funds are usually processed by a merchant account processor. We work with all the major ones: PayPal, PayPal Pro, WePay,, FirstStatus, CyberSource, Stripe Square and so forth. In that case, those are all processed and deposited into your account usually 24 to 48 hours after the donation is made. Let's see. I would love to hear about success stories as to how organizations promote and use mobile give? Do songs on site work? Mobile Give sites? Yeah, Sarah that's definitely something you should discuss with one of our consultants. They'll be able to give you data on industry trends and so forth. One of the most compelling statistics is that organizations that have some type of mobile component, whether it's a text to donate, or fundraising thermometer, or some type of visual aid like that, they raised on average, I believe, it's 45 percent more by adding in that mobile component out as opposed to organizations that just use traditional methods. And again, there's nothing wrong with your traditional methods whether you're doing direct mail pieces or email and so forth. I have a client who just likes to encourage people to text in to build their texting list and if they want to donate that way, it's much simpler and easier than going to their website. So they still send out direct piece mailers postcards, but they bought a rubber stamp and they stamp on the outside of the postcard “To opt-in to receive text messaging, text ABC to 56512 and they were very surprised how many people preferred that method of communication as opposed to what they were currently doing. It's a little more environmentally friendly also.

Emily White: Patti. I see a question from Emily. She said, “Do you think this good to begin with if we've never done mobile fundraising before?

Patty Ruland: Yeah, I would start off with something like mobile donate. Again it's a simple, easy way to dip your toe in the water. Our mobile donate program or service can be set up very very quickly. I'll give you a quick example. I talked to a client or potential client on Monday or Tuesday of this week and they are an organization that does summer concerts, live concerts in a park in San Francisco, and their season has been cancelled. But the local television station has offered to, in a partnership, rebroadcast older concerts they had from previous years. So she called and she said we have this, you know, this tv spot. What can we do with it? So we literally just said I talked to her two days ago, it’s set up today, and they’re ready to go, for you know, I think it's being the first one’s being broadcast on Sunday. So the turnaround time is super quick. You can get it set up. We have such an amazing staff at Give by Cell. We have a client services manager who does all your training. We have a customer success manager that will help you with tips and tricks and so forth. We've got a phenomenal marketing team. We've got Emily, our project manager, who does amazing things and creates such great visual aids for customers and so forth. So you're not just buying some kind of off the shelf type service with us. You're buying our experience, our knowledge, our history, our creativity, and you know, like I said, the majority of our customers come back to us campaign after campaign, or some of us have been and you know with us for 10 to 12 years.

Emily White: We're a team.

Patty Ruland: Well, I appreciate everybody joining us today. We ran a little bit over time. Again, we will send out the recorded webinar as well as the slide deck, if you want to review it. You want to hear me sing again, we'll go ahead and probably get that emailed out to you in the morning. If you would like to receive additional information about any of our services, or maybe set up a little demo, feel free to put your name and email address in the chat window. If anybody wants to hire me for an upcoming bar mitzvah, wedding, I’m available. They’re always those technical difficulties. So I hope you guys enjoy the time you spent with us today, and we look forward to hopefully chatting with you in the future and introducing you further to mobile technology. From myself, Patty and Emily, thanks, and we hope you have a great day.

Emily White: Thank you so much. And if you have questions about pricing, one of our sales representatives will reach out to you shortly, or you can contact either Patty and I directly.

Five Mobile Tools to Help You Raise More Money During COVID-19

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