Mobile giving is like the wild west of online fundraising. Nonprofits are still trying to understand much of what is being done in mobile giving. Some nonprofits are moving west and striking it rich, while others are having a hard time finding a place to start.
What is mobile giving? Basically a nonprofit provides its donors an option to give via text messaging by texting a specified keyword to a specified five or six digit number. When this keyword is sent, the cell phone companies send the designated gift amount to the nonprofit through the Mobile Giving Foundation or mGive Foundation.
The industry is run by two organizations, Mobile Giving Foundation and mGive. Mobile Giving Foundation pioneered mobile giving, delivering the platform to various nonprofits through Application Service Providers (ASPs). When they first began, one of these ASP’s was mGive which eventually broke out on its own. Both of these organizations have brokered a relationship with the majority of cell phone providers enabling text-to-give campaigns. If your nonprofit is considering doing a mobile campaign, you will contract with one of these organizations or their partners.
Nonprofits receive 100% of every donation ranging from $5 up to $30 depending on the designated amount. Additional information and acknowledgements are sent to each donor through outgoing text messages. Many of the providers have additional services that allow you to integrate other features to your campaigns such as website widgets or online giving.
The various ASP’s and mGive charge the nonprofits certain fees to use the platform. There are initial sign-up fees, a monthly campaign fee, and transaction fees for each gift. Nonprofits receive their donations in the form of a check 30 to 90 days after they receive a gift.