A recent Newsweek article, “Helping Out with a Text,“ may have some nonprofit staff and board members wondering if it’s time to implement a mobile giving program.
While I think it has potential in the future, keep in mind that based on total U.S. giving, text giving is still minuscule. With a maximum contribution of $10, it currently accounts for less than 1/10 of 1% of all U.S. giving. Plus, while it may work well for the nation’s largest charities, such as the Red Cross, or during disasters that garner global attention, the vast majority of nonprofits are small, locally based organizations that rarely get mass media attention.
With that in mind, even if you earned 500 gifts, that totals only $5000, less the cost to process the transaction. And, that’s what it really is—a transaction, not philanthropy. If donors don’t opt to receive additional information, you don’t have the opportunity to build a relationship. And, isn’t that what we really need to be doing in fundraising? After all, while $5000 is nice, it probably won’t have a big impact on your budget—or on cultivating donors.
Text giving is something to watch and perhaps eventually implement, but it won’t solve the fundraising challenges most nonprofits face.
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