Joe Patti has been on a mission. He wants to help nonprofits find an affordable, reliable, user friendly solution for cell phone donations. On 10/25/2010, he posted an article that uncovered what will hopefully be the first of several options that meet his requirements…
Ever since the largest budget nonprofits began to maximize micro-donating following the Haiti earthquake, text-to-donate solutions have become an increasingly popular giving platform. Unfortunately, the costs associated with a reliable, secure, and user friendly solution were cost prohibitive for most nonprofits (especially those in the performing arts fields).
But that began to change in October, 2010 when a partnership between Obopay and Benevity introduced a text-to-donate solution that all but begs nonprofits to take advantage. The as-of-now unbranded service is free for nonprofits to set up and use plus the providers takes care of most of the paperwork; including distributing receipts. In exchange for the service, nonprofits must agree to a seven percent processing fee but the good news is the donor can still deduct 100 percent of his/her donation.
Technology In The Arts posted an article on 11/9/2010 that walks you through the service how-tos as well as taking a closer look at the providers involved. Of course, it doesn’t matter how easy a process is, nonprofit users will still need to take the time to design and implement a productive development strategy. Ideally, this is an excellent joint project between development and marketing teams.
Whatever you do, don’t be boring.
If you think tossing up a link on Facebook and Twitter will be all that’s needed, you better think again. Sure, new media is a good platform to incorporate into a larger strategy but don’t forget the nature of text-to-donate campaigns. They are ideally suited to take advantage of spur of the moment giving so don’t overlook the benefits of making an announcement before a concert.
If you want to go the clever route, incorporate it into the “silence your [bleep]ing cell phones!” announcement. You could go so far as to make a PSA style video to play before concerts (just keep it short) or even get guest artists to record a message to be used as desired.
Keeping it light and funny will help you avoid burnout among regular ticket buyers. If you don’t want/have time to reinvent the wheel, just copy what NPR is doing with Alec Baldwin.
Personally, I’d laugh my ass off and pony up a little dough if I saw the Chicago Symphony do a bit on Ricardo Muti’s absence as nothing more than a ploy to disguise the fact that they’ve “relocated” him to Italy under guard and won’t bring him back until you text “MutiOnDuty” to 5555 and donate.
This stuff writes itself…