Updated … 6-9-10 (see below)

Today I share a quick synopsis of two mobile giving news articles.  Specifically these articles highlight how more and more tools and flexibility are becoming available to nonprofits of all sizes.  It’s getting easier for everyone to add mobile to their fundraising and marketing strategy.

1 – On May 20th, Click & Pledge announced a new mobile giving platform.  According to Dr. Kami Razvan, CEO of Click & Pledge, this platform is available to all its customers.  This includes nonprofits, political campaigns and similar organizations. 

They say it takes advantage of the “coolness factor” that mobile offers.  And it will help attract a wider demographic of supporters to your nonprofit. 

We addressed ways to offer it less expensively, securely, and without limitations on donor information or payment amounts. Plus, we bypassed the phone carriers so that our customers access the money quickly and they capture complete information on the donor,” Razvan said.

Here’s a partial list of what their platform offers:

> Donations of ANY size.  [This is unique.  With mGive you’re currently limited to $5 or $10 donations – up to a total of $25 per campaign – although they expect it will increase to $20 or $25 per donations before the year is out.  The cell phone carriers are the limiting factor.]

You capture complete donor info and it’s stored in a database.  [This is significant.  Typically the nonprofit receives very little info on the donor.  Your best hope for any follow-up is to ask them to opt-in for additional updates.]

> Their system bypasses the cell phone carriers.

> Your nonprofit receives the funds within 48 hours of payment by the donors. [You can wait up to 90 – 120 days with mGive.]

> Recurring payments are available. [In other words, you can use this for your monthly sustainer program!]

I haven’t seen it in action, but it sounds like Click & Pledge really focused on overcoming many of the limitations nonprofits face with mGive.  And I’m not criticizing mGive!!!!  They have a marvelous platform.

One thing I’m curious about is this: Currently only 501(c)(3) nonprofits that have been registered with the IRS for more than a year, and have annual revenues in excess of $500,000 are eligible for mobile giving through mGive.  These constraints come from the cell phone providers who want to protect their own business, and not fill the roll of banks.  Does this mean that ANY nonprofit that is a customer of Click & Pledge could use mobile for fundraising?  Does it mean it doesn’t matter how much annual revenue they bring in?  I assume the answer is yes, but I’m not sure.  Maybe I’ll hear from someone at Click & Pledge.

Update … 6-9-10: Jim Barney of Click & Pledge read this post and called me.  Jim confirmed that as long as the nonprofit is a client of Click & Pledge, they have access to all services, software, and platforms.  In other words, the nonprofit can use the mobile platform regardless of what their annual revenues are (there’s no minimum amount).  The restrictions that mGive operates under (and again, these come from the cell phone service providers), don’t apply to Click & Pledge clients.

And I think you’ll find that your fees to use mobile through Click & Pledge will be less too, but please confirm that for yourself.  The beauty of this is that the online fundraising and other services that Click & Pledge offers are extremely affordable.  You don’t pay anything upfront. 

I’m NOT an affiliate for this company and receive zero compensation for my comments.  I simply like to pass on good ideas to my readers.  Everything I’ve seen or heard thus far sounds great … and I believe it’s worth your time to call Jim Barney at Click & Pledge to ask about their mobile platform and more. [End of 6-9-10 update.]

2 – On June 1st, Purple Forge and ZipGive announced a new partnership. Together they will “…deliver mobile applications for fundraising, volunteer and donor engagement for charities, non-profits and political campaigns in North America.”  This partnership has elements that go beyond mobile giving and incorporates mobile marketing tools as well.

That’s important because in my opinion the greatest potential for mobile is in strenthening your donor cultivation abilities.

Purple Forge’s award-wining mobile application services combined with our leading SMS fundraising capabilities offer fundraisers an unmatched suite of mobile fundraising and donor engagement solutions,” said Andrew D’Amico, ZipGive account manager. 

This partnership gives your nonprofit the ability to broadcast news, events, pictures, video, Twitter and donation calls.  They also offer a “survey engine” tied-in with social networking.  As I understand it this means it is easy for you to share timely news.  And you can get the opinions and feedback from your supporters regarding this news in real-time.

Click here for a resource that will make you mobile savvy fast … an A-to-Z primer on mobile for nonprofits.

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