In a presentation Tuesday at Nonprofit Mobile Day, Adam Stiska, director of mobile and digital strategies, Goodwill, discussed the organization’s early adoption of mobile, and offered advice about how to fit mobile into broader organizational strategy and business objectives.

Goodwill is a nonprofit that sells donated clothes and household items at retail stores and online to provide career services and other community programs. In a session titled “Mobile Eclipsing Desktop Computing as the Primary Means That Individuals Access the Internet,” Stiska described mobile as part of Goodwill’s integrated digital strategy, which includes social, Web, mobile, and email. Specifically, Goodwill uses mobile to advance its mission and business services, tell the nonprofit’s story, gather shopper and donor information, and train employees.

According to Stiska, one of the biggest challenges of branching into a new channel like mobile is getting support from leadership. Stiska recommended, “Define a baseline for ‘critical’ user adoption. Example: we need to use this channel if it leads to 5% of our donations. It’s important to set expectations early.”

Stiska also underscored the need for mobile to connect to the larger organizational goal of creating a “frictionless experience” for donors. For instance, Stiska pointed out, mobile enables Goodwill to reach supporters anytime, anywhere, and serve location-aware ads. Donors are also able to take action on their mobile device by giving a gift or watching videos. Stiska called smartphone apps and responsive websites “promising investments.”

Unlike many other nonprofits, Goodwill drives in-store traffic as well as donations, so it uses mobile marketing to educate potential donors about the nonprofit’s mission and its locations. “People know us as a great place to donate their stuff, but don’t always know the good we’re doing with that stuff,” said Stiska.

By partnering with the Ad Council for the “Donate Stuff, Create Jobs” campaign, Stiska explained, Goodwill used mobile ads to raise awareness about Goodwill locations in the US while driving users to donation centers. After ad exposure, there was a 43% lift in store visits.

“Mobile is not only a means, but also an end into itself,” said Stiska.

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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