One way or the other ALL nonprofits ought to be involved with mobile

On one end of the spectrum this only involves getting your website and emails mobile-friendly.  And on the other end it means also having a completely integrated marketing and fundraising program that incorporates text cultivation messages, mobile ads, and mobile giving.

However you proceed, the wise nonprofit will begin by thinking strategically.  Here are three initial steps to viewing mobile more strategically:

1 – Recognize how donors, members and prospects are interacting with you via mobile.

Are you on Facebook?  50% of Facebook traffic is via mobile devices.  Therefore any links from Facebook to your website should be to mobile-friendly pages.

What percentage of your website traffic is from mobile devices?  And from which devices (e.g., Blackberry, Android, or iPhone)?  Google Analytics – which is free – tells you all this under “visitor” information.  And even if the percentage is relatively low today, are you sure you want to annoy this 5 or 10% by making pages all but impossible to read for them?

Do you send emails to your supporters?  Growing numbers of people use mobile devices to read their emails.

2 – What programs and areas of your fundraising and marketing programs could use a little help?  Which ones are particularly compatible with mobile?

Have any special events?  For example:  Walk-a-thons, run-a-thons, or whatever-a-thons are all very compatible to promotion via mobile.

Do you encourage peer-to-peer fundraising?  If so, again strongly consider adding mobile to the mix.

Do you want to strengthen the relationships you have with your supporters?  Do you want personal one-on-one communications with them?  Mobile is ideal for cultivation and building loyalty.

Do you want to have a quick way to raise funds for a special project (e.g., $10,000 for new school computers this fall), or be ready for disaster relief fundraising?  Mobile is a fast action channel.

Do you want educational articles or resources available to people?  The American Cancer Society is gearing up to have health information at the fingertips of those who need it.  For example: If you just found out you had cancer and didn’t understand half of what the doctor just told you, you’ll start looking for more info fast.  Mobile searches make it available instantly while sitting in the car outside the doctor’s office.

Could your staff and/or volunteers work more efficiently – help more people – through mobile?  For example:  Coordinate the actions of your people in the field helping beneficiaries of your mission via text messages or alerts.

Do you want to boost email open rates and conversions?  Augment with mobile text messages.

3 – Adjust how you think and operate.  (This may be the toughest of all.)

Integrate all your databases.

Break down the silos.  For example, think about how best to cultivate ALL donors and not online over here and direct mail over there by different staff members.  Have team meetings where your analytics, email, social, mobile and web people all show up and work toward common goals.

That ought to jump start your strategic thinking about mobile.

One last thought:  On February 16th I attended Nonprofit Mobile Day (DMANF in Washington, DC).  One of the speakers said this,

If you believe in mobile you can do phenomenal things – regardless of size and budget.  But you must BELIEVE.  Everyone who tries it . . . loves it.”

Need more help understanding mobile?  Want a handy resource you can refer to that’s written for non-techies?  Get the “Mobile for Nonprofits” guide book you’ll find by clicking this link.