July 29, 2021
Needless to say, fundraising this fall will be very different. This means your organization must do things differently to raise money.
Top nonprofits are learning from the lockdown and incorporating a hybrid model, specifically where technology steps in to boost engagement during live and recorded events. Because, as you know, you’ve got to prepare for those who aren’t ready to come to a live gala.
In this webinar, Give by Cell CEO Dave Asheim and Senior Mobile Solutions Consultant Patty Ruland discuss our mobile fundraising suite from text message scavenger hunts to mobile giving through a phone bill, to fundraising thermometers you can place on a screen or web page—all the tools you need in this very unusual, once-in-a-lifetime fall season.
Here is a summary of Dave and Patty’s conversation:
Mobile Technology Then and Now
The conversations I was having seven years ago were much different than conversations I'm having with clients now. Back then, people were questioning whether donors would use mobile technology. Fast forward to today, and now it's a must-have for communication, especially when email open rates are plummeting. Mobile technology has dramatically improved how things can be done because you don't physically need to be in a room. With mobile, people can donate from anywhere. It's a very in the moment thing because it only takes a moment or to do.
What Kind of Event Do Your Attendees Want?
We're finding more and more that our clients are planning virtual events, but there's always that hybrid possibility. Every organization has to determine what feels safe for their attendees and take into consideration what they're feeling and their concerns. Some have to find a way to accommodate donors who want to come dance, socialize, go hear a live band and get caught up in the action, But organizations also have to address the needs of supporters who would prefer to participate at home through their computer.
Creative Calls to Action
Often when our clients are doing a virtual event, you're not paying for chair rentals, table rentals, and all that other stuff. With overhead reduced, the organization is now free to implement more creative ideas. One of our clients, a chorus group created a jingle, encouraging everybody to text in their keyword and to 56512. We've had other clients create a video montage asking people to text in and donate.
Benefits of Mobile Technology at Virtual Events
The nice thing about using mobile is I can be sitting here watching an event and I don't have to open another web browser to donate. I’ve seen my local TV station put a QR code at the bottom of the screen during an event. Above the QR code, it says, “Would you like to make a donation? Scan here,” and it brings people to a donation page. Nonprofit professionals were concerned that having virtual or hybrid events was going to somehow take away from the experience, but people are actually enjoying themselves because they can still be involved at home.
Engaging a Senior Audience
One of the questions we always get asked is, “How does this work with an older demographic?” I think sometimes we underestimate people's capabilities. In the past year, everybody has learned to text, and almost everybody has learned to use Zoom or some type of screen sharing. Our senior populations are texting with their friends and neighbors. We need to give them the benefit of the doubt that they have developed these skills.
Texting Your Donors
Text messaging is great for making donations, but it's also a great way to communicate with your donor base whether it's letting them know about ticket sales or letting them know about a milestone that was achieved. You can send a text message to your attendees after the event to let them know the total funds raised or what that money will be be used for. It's a great way to continue the conversation and continue the engagement with your donors.
Using a Donation Thermometer
A live thermometer is great for in person or streaming events. It shows progress. It puts the donor’s name in lights. It gives that acknowledgement and encourages competition. I've seen events where one side of the room competes against the other side of the room to see who raises the most money. The thermometer can be projected at a live event. It could be used in your streaming or hybrid event. It also can be embedded into your website, as well as on your social media platforms. So it's a really fun, engaging, interactive tool to use.