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Got events? Use mobile to drive engagement

We have reached the point where mobile has surpassed fixed (ie: desktop) Internet access and a whopping 80% of these Internet users’ device of choice is a smartphone. Your donors are mobile and if your organization doesn’t have a mobile marketing strategy, it’s time to put one in place.

Here are some tips on how to use mobile to drive engagement and raise money at your events, connecting with donors and constituents for the long-term.

1. Get your website in check

Making sure your website is mobile-friendly is the first step in engaging in a mobile marketing plan. A responsive website will ensure that your donors can access information about your event on the go—they may look for things such as the event start time, location, schedule, etc. Designing a website that can function on all screen sizes automatically will provide an exceptional user experience for your donors creating less frustration and ease of use whenever they need to access information.

2. Text messages (SMS)

Nonprofits most commonly use text messaging to engage constituents in 5 ways: fundraising, advocacy, public awareness, website promotion and information gathering. If you have not dived into text messaging as a way to engage donors, start small and with a campaign directly related to your event. Set up text messages that go out prior, during and after your events providing relevant information event attendees seek.

3. Don’t forget those that cannot attend

You can still connect with donors who have declined your event invitations. One way to follow up would be to create a special mobile campaign for non-attendees and focus the messaging on how they can still support your cause through online giving. Send a link to your mobile-friendly online donation page and provide examples of what their donation can do for your organization.

4. Get social

Mobile marketing is a great way to encourage ongoing conversations and even peer-to-peer fundraising prior to any event. Use SMS campaigns to send links and encourage social media conversation to event attendees. Create a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or “challenge” on sites like Facebook to encourage a little friendly competition between event attendees. This is also a great way to spread the word about your organization and event.

5. Think screen-centric

How many times a day do you see someone staring at a screen? From computers to tablets to smartphones, we all do it. Use these pieces of technology to engage with your donors. For example, think about creating a “leaderboard” during large fundraising events to display donors’ gifts during your event. This concept can be tied into your SMS strategy. During your event you can ask attendees for a donation through text message keywords—donors text the keyword to a phone number which then brings up your mobile giving page (via a text reply). To utilize the leaderboard concept, donors can text their pledge and name onto the big screen (Text2Screen) where others can see giving levels—this spurs additional donations, much like an auction mindset (as one bids, others bid higher). Our client Project C.U.R.E. raised more than $20,000 at an event through this concept of text messaging to their mobile-friendly donation page.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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