The following is a guest post from Network for Good's Chief Strategy Officer, Katya Andresen. The article originally appeared on Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog. You can follow her on Twitter at @KatyaN4G.
A new study on mobile giving in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake has loads of interesting insights for nonprofits seeking to understand mobile donors.
The research, from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Harvard’s Berkman Center for the Internet & Society, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the mGive Foundation, shows 9% of people have texted a charitable donation from their phone. While that may seem like a low number, it actually represents a significant percentage when you consider mobile giving only started in 2008 - and in that first year, it yielded more donations that the first year of online giving.
So who are these donors?
1. IMPULSIVE: Surveyed donors who gave in response to Haiti said it was a spur-of the-moment decision - and for most, it was their first time giving with their phone. Three quarters of these mobile donors (73%) contributed using their phones on the same day they heard about the campaign, and a similar number (76%) say that they typically make text message donations without conducting much in-depth research beforehand. Six in ten have not followed the ongoing reconstruction efforts closely after making their donation, and just 3% say they have followed these efforts “very closely”. Additionally, a sizable majority (80%) have not received additional follow-up communications from the organization that received their donation.
2. SOCIAL: Yet while their initial contribution often involved little deliberation, 43% of these donors encouraged their friends or family members to give to the campaign as well. Interestingly, of those who encouraged a friend or family member to donate, three quarters (75%) did so by talking with others in person—twice the number who sent a text message encouraging others to donate (34% did this) and more than three times the number who did so by posting on a social networking site (21%).
3. TECH-SAVVY: Most of those surveyed (56%) have continued to give to more recent disaster relief efforts—such as the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan—using their mobile phones. They were far more likely than the norm to Tweet, access the web via their phone and own an e-reader. They also tended to be younger than typical donors.
The study underlines a wealth of recent research showing multi-channel outreach is the best approach. Mobile should be part of an integrated outreach plan. The mobile donors use a range of methods to give money, and when asked their favorite way, they prefer text messaging (favored by 25%) and online forms (24%) only slightly to mail (22%) and in-person donations (19%). Voice calling was the least preferred way of being contacted.
I also think the impulsive, social nature of these donors is reflective of much of individual giving.
So should you jump into mobile? I think text-to-give campaigns are great for large-scale humanitarian disasters that have captured widespread interest and for local events, when you have an opportunity to ask people to act in the moment. If you are hoping people will give on their phones but haven’t figured out how to create the impetus for an impulsive action, step back and solve for that challenge before anything else. Mobile, like all technology, doesn’t work on its own. You need a compelling appeal that reaches people at the right time.
For more on the study, go here.
“As we enter a new year and look around the corner, we believe the most successful brands will meet the needs, hopes and aspirations of New Consumers; build more respectful, collaborative and enduring relationships with all stakeholders; and unleash our collective co-creativity to bring better, smarter and more impactful ideas to life in ways that create shared value for all.”
Raphael Bemporad, Principal and CSO of brand innovation studio BBMG, outlines five trends shaping sustainable brands in 2012 that are vitally relevant for this blog’s audience. (You can read his full post on the Sustainable Brands blog here – it’s chalk full of great brand examples.)
As you refine your employee engagement, cause marketing and sustainability strategies for 2012, these trends can help your company focus on the ideas and initiatives that will drive tangible impact and set you apart from the herd. Brands of all shapes, sizes and sectors are jumping on the corporate responsibility bandwagon, but not all of them are achieving authentic, relevant and meaningful programs that reinforce core business goals and values. Now is the time to make sure your company is taking the smart approach. As Cone, Edelman and others continue to reinforce through their research, consumers and employees want to see more corporate responsibility, but they are quick to vilify a brand that doesn’t do it right.
Here's a roadmap of trends for smart CSR in 2012.
1. Ubiquity of C2C (and C2B): consumers have more power than ever and smart brands are using that paradigm to their advantage through collaboration, co-creativity and personalization. It’s no longer just about listening to the customer, but inviting the customer to the process.
2. Rise of Generation ‘Why’: a growing group of consumers – the young educated wired New Consumers – is looking for more from the products and brands they purchase. They want design, function, value and social impact all in one place and if they can’t find it through your products, they will likely create it themselves and become your competition. Per trend #1, it’s best to delight these folks and co0pt them for your creative process.
3. Race to Relationship: it’s time to stop thinking about winning on price and start winning through value “by empowering consumers with better products and experiences and championing their success.”
4. Imperative of Sustainable Brand Innovation: there’s a huge opportunity to embed sustainability throughout the value chain – from how materials are sourced all the way to how products are made, packaged and sold. In the race to win consumers, it’s important to demonstrate how the embedded social good is embodied in the product they are holding in their hands.
5. Evolution from Occupy to Engage: with a focus on the trends above your company would be hard pressed to NOT delight and engage your consumers. No brand seeks to be vilified and ‘occupied’ in the media (or literally by the 99% in tents outside your lobby) and the way to avoid a hit to your reputation and performance is to use these emerging trends to your advantage. That’s just good business sense by any definition of ‘good’ you use.