Many businesses have difficulties engaging customers. They spend millions of dollars on marketing campaigns and public relations projects trying to reach individuals. As access to technology has altered the means by which people communicate, mobile devices and the Internet – social media platforms, in particular – have a greater influence on the methods organizations use in their outreach campaigns. Likewise, nonprofit organizations can reap the benefits of catering to the communication habits of donors to maintain an informed and connected group of funders. Technology has already impacted the way in which nonprofits conduct giving campaigns, many depending on fundraising management software to organize and implement strategy. There are several reasons why mobile technology and social media can help nonprofit organizations with donor management.People expect direct communication
The 2013 mGive Foundation Text Donation Study highlighted the proclivity of people to use mobile devices and social media to access information regarding fundraising campaigns. Especially donors who have already given to an organization anticipate the nonprofit management will communicate with them through a variety of channels. In fact, the survey reported 28 percent of respondents heard about text donation campaigns via social media in 2013. This reflects an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. On the other hand, email seems to be a less effective tool for disseminating information for text donation campaigns. In 2011, more than 60 percent of donors reported hearing about them via email while the numbers in 2013 reflect a decrease of 50 percent.Because many of the community goals promoted by nonprofit organizations are geared toward social betterment, using social media as a platform for advocacy makes a lot of sense. Individuals use these sites to share information and interact, making them ideal vehicles for informing a large audience about fundraising campaigns. Moreover, it’s a given that nonprofits maintain comprehensive contact information for donors, meaning communicating with people who have participated in previous fundraisers should not pose a problem.Giving the people what they want
The NonProfit Quarterly indicated most donors still prefer making donations online through an organization’s website, but the popularity of text donations is on the rise. In fact, texting and social media are the third and fourth most preferred methods of donating in 2013. This information goes hand in hand with data reporting 85 percent of donors would like to give donations of between $25 and $50 via texts. Although this level remains about equal to the numbers reported in 2011, more telling is the fact that an equal percentage of individuals rated the experience as good or excellent.

But texting is not just a channel for fundraising. In order to create a successful campaign, organizations need active information strategies. According to the mGive Foundation survey, 70 percent of respondents would like to receive donation information via text messages. By ignoring donors’ preferences, fundraisers will likely see diminishing returns for their efforts. Much like a fully functioning democracy, having an informed audience improves the overall functioning of nonprofit enterprises.

Nonprofit management leadership should understand that fundraising, like many other aspects of business, will feel the impact of technological innovation. While text messaging represents an increasingly popular method for delivering information as well as providing donors with a convenient avenue to donate, it is just another tool at the disposal of nonprofit enterprises. It isn’t a replacement, and it currently speaks to the preferred means of communication. However, technology will continue to evolve, providing organizations with a greater number of avenues to pursue in achieving their fundraising goals.

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