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Boost Your Cause: Increase Donations With Mobile Payments


By Kristen Gramigna

Mobile payments were designed with traditional buyers and sellers in mind, but they can be highly beneficial to nonprofit organizations that rely on donations for financial support. Here are a few simple ways your group can increase donations with the help of mobile payments.

Allow your donors to give via the technology they already use. Regardless of your cause or the demographics of your primary donor base, the odds are high that most potential donors use a mobile device. Data compiled by Pew Research Center in 2015 revealed that more Americans now own a mobile device than do not. Mobile payments empower customers to donate using the technology they’ve come to trust and rely on, whether you’re collecting donations at a fundraising event, on your website or on social media.

Emails and mobile donations go hand-in-hand. Email can be a cost-effective tactic to help you stay in touch with previous donors and target new supporters who are likely to have an interest in your cause. In fact, data reported by Salsa Labs indicates that email fundraising drives about a third of nonprofit donations. Further, Litmus Email Analytics reports that 55 percent of all emails are now read on a mobile device. When you incorporate mobile payments into your email marketing efforts, you give donors the tool they need to take action quickly and efficiently. They can read your email on their mobile device, and donate to the cause with the push of a secure “donate now” button powered by your mobile payment processor. Mobile payment checkout forms can be customized to include only the “must have” information you need from the donor to ensure a seamless payment experience.

Enhance the credibility of your organization. If your organization isn’t nationally recognized, you’re challenged to raise awareness of your cause, increase brand recognition of your organization, and convince donors that their donation will be respected and used responsibly. Collecting donations with mobile payments empowers donors to give using a debit or credit card; replicates the donation experience offered by major charities; and assures donors that you are a financially professional organization. In one study published in the journal Innovative Marketing, donors’ perceived credibility of an organization’s reputation had a direct influence on their likelihood to give, outweighing even the cause itself.

Eliminate bottlenecks in the giving process. Moving donors to take action isn’t just about emotional appeals. It requires a seamless donation process that frees them to act on their emotions, before logic (and, potentially, the decision not to give) sets in. Case in point? CNN reports that relief agencies raised $43 million in the aftermath of Haiti’s 2012 earthquakes by allowing mobile users to text their donations.

Mobile payments allow you to collect donations in person or online quickly and efficiently. If you’re collecting funds at a live event, mobile payments allow you to equip any member of your fundraising team to securely collect donations from their mobile devices, using your mobile payment provider’s secure app. If you collect donations online, mobile payments allow you to provide donors with a secure and trustworthy payment experience — including the ability to send confirmation of their donation via email or text, for tax purposes.

Boost your average donation. When people buy with credit cards, they tend to spend more and debate price and purchases to a lesser extent than when they pay with cash. Mobile payments leverage these aspects of credit card purchases, while keeping your overhead for accepting them manageable. Though mobile payment providers charge a small fee (usually assessed as a percentage of the transaction value), you can boost your average donation and reduce the overhead costs your organization bears in the process. As a result, your cause earns more financial support — and you receive more value from every donation.

As a nonprofit organization, it’s critical to find the balance between keeping operations and overhead low, while staying current with the convenience tools donors expect. Mobile payments are a cost-effective technology that any nonprofit can leverage to streamline internal operations, convert more donors and realize more value from every dollar raised.

Image credit: Pixabay

Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer of BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.

3p Contributor

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