The power of mobile: leveraging tech in P2P fundraising

Written by Maddie Davis, Co-Founder and Editor for Enlightened-Digital, an up-and-coming digital magazine. An avid amateur web designer, she writes about the potential of technology to impact our lives.

In 2015, Google announced that mobile had surpassed desktop searches for the first time. In the three years since, we’ve seen an increased reliance on interconnectivity, and a greater emphasis being placed on mobile-first web content by search engines and advertisers alike.

In the world of peer-to-peer fundraising, the need to connect with like-minded individuals in the spaces they are spending the majority of their time in has never been more crucial. In this way, nonprofits and individuals alike are finding that they need to approach technology in an integrative way in order to maximise their social impact and ultimately, their donations.

So, how are fundraising pros and novices raising the bar and keeping up with the latest digital trends? We took a closer look at harnessing the power mobile provides below.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

Also known as “social fundraising”, “team fundraising”, or just simply “p2p”, peer-to-peer fundraising involves leveraging your personal or professional network in order to raise money for a cause or organisation. Campaigns can be rolling or time-specific, and often centre around a particular theme or activity, such as an awareness walk or other social events.

Through grassroots efforts, an individual can secure more donations than they would otherwise have been able to on their own. It’s a great way to get friends, families and coworkers involved as advocates for your cause. The creator of a fundraising page can invite participants, and supporters can raise money as individuals or as a team. Many companies often participate in the team format from a social responsibility standpoint.

The advent of the mobile-first movement has added more layers of possibility to the mix. Giving is inherently a social activity, and so it makes sense that incorporating elements of social media and mobile technology into the process would elevate the experience for the parties involved.

Text-to-Give

Text-to-give technology allows donors to make contributions right from the messaging application on their phones. Capitalising on one of the most popular forms of communication today, signing up for a text-to-give service helps nonprofits make their messages more visible to busy would-be donors on the go. Secure donations via debit or credit card are collected through a donation form and, with a little legwork, an organisation can turn a one-time giver into a recurring donor.

Ecommerce

A fun and interesting way to raise money, especially within your network, is to sell items of sentimental and material value. Today’s technology makes opening up an ecommerce store easy- and if you’re not comfortable with the logistics, sites like Etsy, Amazon, and Ebay are all free to create an account and provide simple instructions to set up an online store. Making purchases provides an even greater incentive to donors, since they’re getting something out of the transaction, and thanks to dropshipping, you can have items shipped straight from a supplier and skip the legwork of filling out mailing information and paying for supplies.

QR Codes

We’re all familiar with those little black and white boxes that resemble a kind of smartphone barcode. They’re on emails, flyers, newsletters, even on ads in magazines. But what do they do? Essentially, a QR code contains a code readable by a smartphone camera, which can be linked to open any number of targetted web pages or applications. In the context of fundraising, QR codes are a heavy hitter because they take advantage of a donor’s spontaneous decision to give. All someone has to do is scan it, and if it’s linked to a Paypal or merchant account, the donation is made instantly.

Social Media

It’s become common in recent years to hop on to social media platforms like Facebook, and see people engaging in fundraising on behalf of a nonprofit using a time-specific life event such as a birthday. Social media impressions are worth their weight in gold when it comes to fundraising. It eases the flow of communication so much that people feel comfortable asking for donations from individuals in extended donor pools: the friend from college, a high school teacher, and other acquaintances. This is peer-to-peer fundraising at its most disparate, granular level. Imagine the possibilities if harnessed as part of a cohesive donation strategy!

Mobile Donations

Making donation pages responsive is no longer an option and should be a priority for any nonprofit. Earlier this year, Google announced the official rollout of their mobile-first index, which intends to further echo the importance of the shift in traffic from three years ago by favouring content that is more responsive, or that adapts best to being viewed from a mobile device. This means that everything from how fast the page loads to how legible the content is on each page is crucial to the success of online donation pages.

By and large, mobile technology has taken the fundraising world by storm. For all the additional challenges of reaching and capturing a more distracted audience, the trend promises to make fundraising more convenient for both parties. By learning to embrace and leverage the power of mobile, peer-to-peer fundraisers can secure the most donations from their networks.