How Much Does It Cost To Ride The Mobile Fundraising Bandwagon?

“Crowdfunding is the latest way to leverage the internet by using the collective power of a large number of small donations that when pooled together add up to a large sum.” +Peter Trapasso

Mobile-Fundraising-BandwagonIt’s easy to see why it’s so important for nonprofits to devise a strategy which includes mobile fundraising. With over 1 BILLION smart phones transmitting radio waves on Planet Earth, this presents a great opportunity for your organization to acquire new donors, but are you ready to pay the price?

A recent +B2C article (see below) explores the use of two popular apps which provide all the essentials for successful fundraising via the Internet, social media, and mobile devices. They provide several other tools for management and communications to make your process effortless.

+Razoo charges 4.9% while +Fundly does the same and tacks on an additional 3% for credit card fees. Ouch! You may consider +PayAnywhere as a mobile fundraising solution at 2.69% per swipe which allows you to incorporate their API within your custom app. Nice!

+PayPal offers registered 501(c)(3)’s a discounted rate of 2.2% + 0.30 per transaction which can be integrate within your website. You’ll also be able to accept PayPal as a payment method and provided a solution for mobile credit card processing. There is however, a $20 chargeback fee, if that were to ever occur.

SMS platforms which use a ‘short code’ to donate are under heavy scrutiny by charity watchdog groups such as CharityWatch because of the exorbitant fees associated with such services. In some instances, up to 50% of the monies donated are paid in fees and can take up to 120 days to process. Kinda defeats the purpose if you ask me.

+Verizon Wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to support the +American Red Cross. Text messaging fees are waived and 100% of each donation goes directly to the Red Cross. They’ll even provide a dollar-for-dollar match for employee donations from the Verizon Foundation up to $1000. Great cause marketing!

+mGive works with pretty much every major carrier in the United States and passes along 100% of the funds you’ve collected directly to your organization, but there are limits to how much you can collect per donor per month AND you have to meet their annual revenue requirements to qualify your organization for the service.

There are a variety of other providers which offer subscription based services on a 6, 12, and 24 month contract but the additional set-up, service, and transaction fees quickly diminish your ROI, especially if you don’t have a solid strategy in place and execute accordingly.

Before you jump on the mobile fundraising bandwagon, be certain about how you will best maximize your efforts. Unless you have a big cause marketing partner, remember that the best way to keep all the money you’ve generated for your cause is to have donors send you a check.

The appeal to millennials will occur with high-impact visual storytelling and compelling CTAs via your mobile-enabled website which demonstrates the impact of their donation helping people in the real world. You can save on a lot of fees through your own secure and responsive website.

What’s your best recommendation on how organizations can incorporate mobile fundraising without breaking the bank?