5 Reasons Charities Need to Embrace Mobile Marketing

There has never been greater pressure on consumers’ wallets, or in the variety of causes and ways for them to donate to charities. This is why mobile marketing is a vital element of any charities’ strategy. AppInstitute looks at why mobile is the way forward to ensure your charity remains relevant and funded.

1. Mobile is now the primary device for most consumers

At home on the sofa, on the train or bus to work, even in the office, most consumers check their personal email and consume content on a smartphone or tablet. In this era, growing usage of apps and social media to find content over browsing the traditional web, means traditional web marketing tactics like banner adverts are invisible to them.

Mobile provides multiple ways to engage the consumer, with SMS and MMS messaging, social media posts, app content as well as the web and email. This broad arena of opportunity provides marketers with a wealth of opportunity, especially as people become less likely to respond to call-backs once you have their number. Today, text and MMS messaging are more likely to succeed, highlight the ubiquity of mobile devices.

By ignoring mobile marketing, you are focusing on a dwindling set of consumers who are less likely to see or act on your marketing, mobile donations have risen by over 200% in a year.

2. Mobile offers frictionless payments

Soliciting donations on the streets or on the phone takes time, time that many people don’t have. Physically transcribing bank details and other information can also lead to mistakes, reducing the success rate and volume of donations. Mobile payments can be made instantly, using features like Apple or Google Pay, reducing consumer inertia and creating a steady flow of donations with a massive potential audience.

Services such as @Pay offer Instant Donate buttons for charities and nonprofits to cut the friction and encourage repeat donations by web, email, or text. With people likely to donate facing an ever-growing number of causes soliciting them, getting in there first and offering fast payment makes your charity campaigns more likely to succeed.

3. Social networks help sharing thrive and provide move valuable data points

As well as individual donations, mobile apps and social networks encourage people to share their good deeds, the organizations they support and associated events or activities. Passive giving is a decreasing trend and social media allows people to see their donations in action.

Social media also provides greater levels of feedback and metrics on sharing of campaigns, allowing charities to see what works in terms of reach, engagement, acquisition and conversion, as well as what doesn’t when it comes to promotional activity. Sticking to only referencing web visits and clicks lacks the detail that modern marketing campaigns use to plan ahead and create more promising ideas for the future.

Social networks also provide alternative funding points, such as Fundly or VirginMoneyGiving for alternative raising use cases. These provide a focal point for people raising funds for your charity through running marathons, sponsored walks, and many other activities. These resources all help to broaden engagement and help raise awareness far beyond one or two common touchpoints.

4. Social engagement is where the millennials are

While the use of social media continues to broaden, many traditional charities shy away from resources that can benefit funding efforts. Messaging tools such as WhatsApp, which is used almost exclusively on mobile devices, plus image-friendly resources like Instagram and many others are being used by charities to engage and involve. Those lagging behind will see younger benefactors move on to the more engaged charities where their visibility is higher and the feeling of contact and reward is greater.

Events such as #GivingTuesday taking place across the world on November 27, 2018 transcend any individual charity but have the potential to provide a great boost to many fundraisers. As an entirely social media construct, marketers need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to aligning their efforts to these events and ensuring they gain the maximum exposure and benefit.

Sharing is also far greater among millennials who represent the most engaged segment for charitable donations. They expect more for their donation in the form of interaction and seeing work being done in their name, but are also more likely to share stories and encourage their cohort into action.

5. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to mobile

Having discussed millennials and the younger end of the age spectrum, charities have little to fear about alienating their older and more traditional sponsors when it comes to digital mobility. The older age categories are surprisingly fast when it comes to adapting to mobile devices.

Easier to operate than PCs, they are used to keep in touch with the digital-focused members of their family and to follow their interests and hobbies, including charities. This ease of use also helps make the giving process seamless and intuitive for those who may have had trouble filling in forms on computers or responding to complicated looking paperwork.


The key to any charitable use of mobile platforms is the use of the right platform at the right time for any particular marketing campaign. Fundraisers are learning fast what works, but all are seeing their donations and engagement rise rapidly through the use of mobile platforms, over those who stick to the traditional web and email formats.

Embracing mobile for awareness and fundraising is a natural evolutionary step for any charity and essential for those looking to keep in touch with their sponsors, spread the message, and highlight the good work they do.

Finally, when it comes to mobile, there is nothing faster for getting the message out when there is an urgent relief campaign in progress. Mobile is reactive and stands out, especially in the days when TV adverts are a constant stream of appeals to people’s better nature. Mobile marketing can change hour by hour with a situation to help highlight needs and encourage giving from a more focused audience.

Author Bio

Nabeena Mali is the head of marketing at AppInstitute, a DIY app builder for small businesses. She’s passionate about sharing her knowledge and insights on design strategy, UI/UX trends and driving digital growth through content marketing.

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