Think about how Mobile Giving can help you get millions of people, together quickly and motivate them to contribute to a single cause? If the Haiti earthquake, the Pakistani floods and Gulf oil cleanup are any indication, launch a call to action which can be actualized by the device that most people now have with them 24/7, their cell phone. The link between a call to action and taking action is now rendered almost instantaneous by way of the ability to make text donations through the cellphone. Donations are collected by the cellular carriers and remitted directly to the charity or non-profit completing the process of mobile giving.
Acceptance of using the cellphone for what is, at its most basic, a monetary transaction, was slow to develop, until the watershed of Haiti. Haiti changed the landscape of mobile giving, expectedly because of the urgency and the almost all pervasive media coverage that mobilized pretty much everyone with a heart to do something. Those that couldn’t go, gave. Those that couldn’t give in large amounts, were offered for the very first time the ability to make a micro mobile donation – just as effective in the aggregate, but incredibly useful on a personal level – the opening of the electronic wallet by mobile giving companies was easy since it came in biteable chunks of $5 or $10.
This recognition of the cellphone as no longer a communications medium, but a lifestyle device that interconnects a person’s contacts, music, news, and increasingly finances with mobile banking, realizes the vision of the mobile device as a medium of commerce. Enabling this transition from handover economics of opening one’s physical wallet or pocketbook, is a preconditioning born of internet commerce for which online credit card transaction are now commonplace, where only 4-5 years ago such were regarded with a pervasive scepticism.
As the Bedouins say, once the nose of the camel has opened the tent the body is bound to follow – so are the incursions into validating the mobile device as an instrument of commerce through mobile giving, undoubtedly leading to transactions of greater size and scope being conducted by the lowly cellphone. The key difference from prior incursions is that the cellphone carries with it a unique identifier in the associated telephone number, which the device owner is unlikely to change when changes to devices, carriers or plans are made … and this telephone number is recorded upon initiation of the mobile giving transaction. Subject to applicable privacy policies and related limitations, the benefiting charity of the mobile donation now has a direct means to recontact the donor.
It’s this ongoing conversation capability, as the precursor to establishing a lasting relationship, why mobile giving will continue to grow. Coupled with existing mobile CRM technologies that permit send to friend functionality, this touchpoint of a donor’s telephone number has the potential for a viral explosion of mobile giving, the next time there’s a call to action.
Charities and non-profits can’t lag behind utilizing mobile giving as their competition for the charitable donation or dollar will be developing the relationships made possible by starting with mobile giving, and once developed any existing relationship is hard to displace. The time for mobile giving is now – charities and non-profits should grow with it!