While millions of people scour the Internet for Cyber Monday deals today, the Mobile Giving Foundation is working on ways to ramp up charitable donations via mobile.
With the economy still in tatters, charities are taking a pretty big hit on giving in general, Jim Manis, chairman and CEO at Mobile Giving Foundation, told RCR Wireless News recently.
“Mobile giving is impulse,” he said, adding that mobile should not only be viewed as a tool for donating following large disasters like the earthquake in Haiti. Although that catastrophic event became the watershed moment for mobile giving this year, Manis wants to push things further with new innovative features that can increase the potential donor base and better engage with those supporters.
Overall there was a threefold increase in response to the Haiti disaster, Manis said. His mission is to see that number go up in 2011 as the foundation consults with charities on how to get a more effective reach and gain a higher level of engagement.
In addition to trialing higher price points for donations, Mobile Giving Foundation plans to begin using MMS to send thank you videos to supporters after they donate, for example. Manis also has his eye on a variety of emerging technologies like location that can add value to the experience and serve to gain loyalty and more frequent giving. Most importantly through all of this, the donor has to trust the charity and the charity has to trust that it will get the full amount of its donations.
Unfortunately, there is some bad that comes along with the good. As mobile giving takes root, Manis is concerned that professional fundraisers will make a greater play in the space and find ways to make profit in the emerging sector. Carriers still have policies in place that enable for a 100% pass through of donations and no fees for messaging, but Manis thinks that might change as commercial interests make their presence known.