E-giving: more than a blip on a trends report

By Ashley Kasprzak, JVA Consulting

Text and online giving are on a big upward trajectory even in a down economy. One local entity that is leading the way is Mobile Accord.

JVA has worked with Mobile Accord and applauds its growth. Mobile Accord recently agreed to waive all fees for donations made to Haiti relief, and the Mobile Giving Foundation reports that over $30 million was donated via text in just 10 days.

The Mobile Accord and Mgive Web sites, www.mobileaccord.com and www.mgive.com, note several reasons why text giving is so hot:

  • You can reach over 230 million mobile subscribers
  • 12.5 billion text messages are sent per month in the U.S.
  • 68% of 18 to 24 year olds, 37% of 35 to 44 year olds and even 14% of those over 65 use text messaging
  • Donations can be made in 10 seconds

I love text giving because I believe that new audiences are engaging in philanthropy—and this is an effective way to engage them. Plus, text giving shows the power of the populous and the difference that can be made with low-level donations.

There are also drawbacks that nonprofits should consider about text giving:

  • The necessity to reach a large-scale audience with a cause that has wide appeal
  • Processing fees
  • Inability to gain donor information to build relationships

Fortunately, Mobile Accord has added permission-based affinity database development–a feature that allows donors to subscribe to being contacted in the future. Donors must opt in, yet this is a start. Even with changing technology, charitable organizations should strive to form relationships with their donors. 

I recently discussed Mobile Accord’s affinity database with Angela Bevacqua, Communications Specialist at Community First Foundation, and Dana Rinderknecht, the foundation’s GivingFirst Manager. Angela said, “I think donor relations are still going to be important. People give to people they know. It does depend on the threshold, which is different for every person, but larger gifts need to be more personal asks.”

Community First Foundation has seen remarkable success with e-giving. In less than two years, Community First Foundation’s GivingFirst program helped raise over $1 million for local charities. It pays for the processing fees and offers the community a user-friendly portal. You can read more about the GivingFirst program here.


This entry was posted in Commentary, Fundraising, Online fundraising, Philanthropy, Trends. Bookmark the permalink.

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