Closing the Nonprofit Mobile Day with her keynote, “Dialing Up the Power of Mobile and Partnerships,” Susan Can, director for corporate equity, Donate-A-Photo by Johnson & Johnson, posed the question, “What if we could take an action that people do every day and turn it into a way to do good?”

Though not a traditional nonprofit organization, Johnson & Johnson has a history of philanthropy spanning 125 years and was the first company to speak and write about corporate social responsibility. After a few experiments with using mobile for charitable campaigns, Johnson & Johnson launched Donate-A-Photo in 2013.

With the Donate-A-Photo app, end users can “do good” with something they do every day – share a photo. When users take a photo on the app and share it on social media, Johnson & Johnson donates a dollar to the charity of their choice. To date, more than 260,000 photos have been donated in a little over a year, generating nearly 1 million social interactions.

“People want to see and share the impact of their actions,” said Can.

By working with mobile (which Can defined as a combination of mobile web, apps, SMS, and social) for philanthropy, Johnson & Johnson gained many insights into how to best engage with donors.

“Create simple, minute-worthy actions that inspire others to join in,” said Can. “Also design your campaign to be mobile first and inherently social.”

For all nonprofits, and especially those that use apps, Can recommended acquiring new donors through both paid and organic means, including influencer posts, review sites, SEM/SEO, and social media. She also emphasized “activating advocates” – employees, friends, family, and passionate individuals – who will have the most dedication to the cause.

“These are the people who are great for the launch and will continue to engage for long term,
said Can.

So far, Donate-A-Photo has had real world impacts. Through Donate-A-Photo, 100 children’s cleft palates have been repaired, 23,000 children received free eye exams, 58 Liberian girls went back to school, over 4,000 resuscitation devices were purchased to help newborns breathe, and 14 public parks were restored.

“This is a way we can really measure success,” said Can.

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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