Engagement Focus of Mobile Technology

Fewer nonprofits are using text-to-give fundraising technology, while more are turning to mobile web-based media, with constituent-engagement emerging as the main motivation for nonprofits to launch mobile programs, a new report says.

Forty-seven percent of nonprofits using mobile media do not use it for fundraising, and as many as 50 percent of fundraisers say they are wary of early mobile-giving results, says New Directions, a report by Kaptivate and the Association of Fundraising Professionals based on a 2011 survey of 233 organizations.

Seventy percent of nonprofits responding to the survey report growing interest in their organizations for adopting mobile media, and over 20 percent use mobile media solely to engage supporters or other key constituencies.

The percentage of nonprofits using mobile media for fundraising nearly doubled to 9 percent in 2011 from 2010, and will approach 20 percent by the end of 2011, with 17 percent of respondents anticipating a move to mobile giving within 12 months.

Yet over 50 percent of nonprofits are disappointed with their fundraising results from mobile technology.

The survey found a decline in the use of text-to-give technology among mobile programs to 41 percent in 2011 from 65 percent in 2011, and an increase of 27 percent in the use of mobile web technology.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents say integration with social-media activities is a fundamental value of mobile media.

Nonprofits are starting to see mobile media as a “powerful tool for donor engagement,” the report’s sponsors say in a statement.

That “evolution in motivation rom fundraising to engagement,” they say, also is having an impact on the number of nonprofits managers who integrate their use of social and mobile media into a “holistic digital media strategy.”

Reprinted with permission of Philanthropy Journal.