Questions raised about mobile giving

Despite the roaring success of text campaigns like the American Red Cross appeal to raise money for disaster relief, apparently few such campaigns have returned much.

Chas Grundy in his Non-Profit Chas blog suggests that nonprofits should ignore mobile giving. He writes that mobile giving is “just another shiny object to distract us from our fundraising fundamentals – communicating our mission, building relationships, and helping donors understand how best to support us.”

Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now goes even farther. He thinks nonprofits should abandon several other means, saying they “probably aren’t worth spending much time on.” On that list: smartphone apps, Millennials and probably Facebook.

Brooks thinks these are “shiny objects (that) attract our attention. But they’re mainly just distractions from our real business: Motivating lots of people to support our causes.” He suggests more time be spent on “grubby old unexciting objects” like these:

  • Direct mail.
  • Telemarketing.
  • Email.
  • Search engine marketing and optimization.
  • Print fundraising.
  • Broadcast fundraising.
  • Face-to-face fundraising.
  • Events.

The great Jerry Panas liked to say you can’t get milk from a cow by writing her a letter. As was evident in MVDP’s June 23 presentation in Albany, nonprofits get most of their gifts by asking individuals to give.


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