In a Nonprofit Mobile Day session entitled  “State of Nonprofit Mobile Marketing and Fundraising,” Jim Manis, founder/CEO, BBB Mobile Giving Foundation, discussed popular misconceptions about mobile marketing and the many opportunities for nonprofits to include mobile in their marketing and fundraising efforts.

Manis began by addressing many misconceptions about mobile marketing for nonprofits, including that mobile is too limited in size of donations and donation type, doesn’t provide donor data or permit donor engagement, and is too expensive. Manis argued that, “Mobile is a channel, not a strategy,” and when incorporated into the media mix with other channels, it can yield high results.

Citing the Wall Street Journal and CTIA, Manis claimed that mobile reaches “an unmatched addressable audience,” comprised of 335 million wireless subscribers.  Research shows that website access via mobile is nearly 50 percent, and mobile advertising will represent 9.8 percent total US ad spending this year. Mobile is projected to grow even more over the next few years and offers many opportunities.

But Manis cautioned against using mobile just for the sake of using mobile.  “You should ask what your specific goal is as you approach mobile solutions in your world,” he said.  “It’s going to be about money, acquisition, and engagement.  Now put a number to it.”

As an example, Manis cited the Flash Flood for Good campaign through World Vision, whose goal was to increase engagement and donations via social media and mobile in 72 hours.  The campaign reached 545 million people and enlisted 28,000 donors to clean 2.1 million liters of water and help 3,000 children in Africa. The campaign generated 36,000 Web visits, 65,000 posts and tweets, and 2,000 people who signed up to support the cause. Interestingly, 36 percent of visitors reached the website via mobile, and 24 percent of donations were via mobile.

Manis concluded that the campaign was successful with its goal of increasing awareness and engagement, but fell short in raising donations. By learning lessons from this campaign and setting a new goal, Manis explained, Flash Flood for Good could fine-tune its strategy and improve donation results. “Success is about understanding ubiquity and reach of mobile, leveraging a sophisticated multiplatform ecosystem, and managing the availability of rich data,” he said.


Held Tuesday, July 15 at DMA’s NYC headquarters, The Fifth Annual Nonprofit Mobile Day, organized by the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation and Mobile Commerce Daily, is geared to helping charities and nonprofits understand the ins and outs of mobile marketing and mobile commerce for marketing and donor outreach opportunities in the multichannel mix.

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