Not-for-profit goals are driven by communication. According to the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends report, there is a whole lot of posting, tweeting, emailing, printing, press releasing, and event planning. Where’s mobile messaging in the mix?
According to several polls and studies, nonprofits goals are primarily:
- Acquiring new donors or volunteers
- Engaging their community
- Retaining new donors or volunteers.
While current communication trends support those goals, can the goals be achieved more effectively at a lower cost? Yes! Mobile messaging is the answer. Higher engagement rates of mobile messaging make it the most viable communication channel for not-for-profits that want to grow their communities on a lower budget.
Donor and Volunteer Retention
Often this is the best place to start…you already have supporters who know about you and perhaps are eager to get more involved. Build your mobile messaging list using current donors or volunteers so you can:
- Encourage your current patrons to spread the word in support of brand awareness has the added benefit of reinforcing their involvement with your organization.
- Keep them loyal. If they get family and friends involved in your organization while they are passionate about it, they are more likely to stay loyal as their own personal networks become more engaged with your cause.
- Share their stories. Often people become involved with an organization to feel connected to a problem that they or someone they know faces. Use mobile messaging to curate their stories, then again to share these stories. (This is also a great way to gather social media content.)
Donor or Volunteer Acquisition
Getting new sources of funding and advocacy is the lifeblood of not-for-profits. The ubiquitous phone in the pocket, purse, or hip holster makes mobile messaging the perfect platform.
- At live events and using other methods such as social media, build your mobile messaging lists by inviting attendees and followers to text a keyword to sign up to receive information.
- Send lots of news to your existing patrons encouraging them to share…new enthusiasts for your cause will follow.
- Use any existing lists from your customer relationship management software, email lists, etc. in which you have mobile phone numbers available to make offers of events and information that will draw new members to your organization.
Motivating people to share their time, talents, and money is the key to a successful not-for-profit. Mobile messaging is an effective way to:
- Keep supporters informed of upcoming fundraising events, volunteer opportunities, related advocacy information, and more.
- Organize micro-organizations basically anywhere in the world. Because of the immediacy of mobile messaging, you can arrange near-spontaneous events...think Arab Spring.
- Give people the information they need at their fingertips to take action. Whether it is to vote, sign petitions, send appeals to politicians, or collect donations, you can provide phone numbers, links, etc. required for them to get to work immediately in support of their cause.
Why Is Mobile Messaging Superior?
- Incredibly better open rates than email marketing: 98% vs. 15-25%.
- On average, people respond to mobile messages immediately, email response takes 90 minutes vs. a text’s 90 seconds.
- Notification of receiving a text is turned on for almost every phone and mobile phones are always with their owners. Email and social media may or may not be audible and may or may not be used on an individual phone.
Do you work with a not-for-profit that uses mobile messaging? Perhaps you are a patron of an organization that uses it? Let us know your experiences with not-for-profit mobile messaging!
Author bio: Wanda Anglin is founder of SEO Buzz Internet Marketing in Houston, TX. The SEO Buzz team helps SMBs thrive by identifying and reaching the optimal target audience.