publication date: Dec 10, 2012
author/source: Katherine Winchester
The Mobile Giving Foundation Canada
(MGFC) is the enabling charity of
text-to-donate in Canada, thanks to the support of participating wireless
service providers (WSPs). In an effort to understand text message donors, MGFC
has reviewed the consumer attitudes survey conducted by the Canadian Wireless
Telecommunications Association two years in a.row.
highlights from the survey results are:
of mobile users in Canada are aware of the ability to complete a donation via
awareness is higher among those aged 18-34.
message donations are prompted most by appeals on TV, followed by appeals made
through social media.
donors are highly satisfied with their experience; 90% of text donors would
donate again through this method, and 83% would recommend this form of donating
to a friend.
donors are most interested in follow-ups that report on how donations are being
put to use; an astounding 53% are interested in knowing the total tally of
- 16% of those aged 18-34 expressed a high level of interest in
opting in to the monthly recurring gift option.
percent of Canadian mobile users lack awareness of the ability to send a text
message donation. More work must be done to promote this channel and to build
trust among Canadian mobile users.
We must also pay attention to a distinct
trend in demographics - the prevailing target audience are those aged 18-34.
must also encourage those who do text-to-donate to share the ability to do so
with their friends. Social media is more readily available than TV and can be
used to communicate not only how the funds are being used, but also the total
funds raised. Gathered from the survey results, these are the best avenues to
take to increase response from potential donors.
complete copy of the consumer attitudes survey results is available here
people hear text-to-donate and think, "emergency relief." We all know that
text-to-donate draws mass response in emergency relief situations. I want to highlight
the success stories of charities that have committed to their mobile giving
program and have made it work outside emergency relief situations. I also want
to focus on a couple of charities that are not large, but have still managed to
make text-to-donate successful as a part of their overall fundraising strategy.
Leukemia and Lymphoma
Society of Canada
Text LTNOntario to
45678 to make a $5 donation to the Light the Night Ontario campaign
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada
established a plan to promote their text-to-donate program for the Light the Night Ontario campaign that
took place earlier this fall.
accurately allocate funds to its Ontario program, the Leukemia and Lymphoma
Society utilized what we call a "sub-keyword." (Ontario) after the keyword LTN.
That made it possible to track the two allocations separately. The society
avoided the added cost of an entirely new keyword, and easily captured the
intent of the donors.
weeks, approximately $1,600 was raised through text message donations. At the
kick-off party a 4% response led to $1,200 in text message donations. Of this,
there were 317 unique donors and three donors that gave more than once.
communicating the fundraising goal;
social media for updates on funds raised;
to emotions to drive action and provide a sense of togetherness in supporting
the cause; and
messaging that matched the branding of Light the Night Ontario in the call to
hindsight, more sub-keywords could have been used to gain an even greater
response. A sub-keyword could have been established for each individual
volunteer fundraiser. Volunteer fundraisers could have then promoted their
specific text-to-donate call to action.
that scenario, the funds would have been tracked back to the volunteer, who
would be eligible for a prize to the individual raising the most funds
throughout the campaign. Sub-keywords would have established a competitive
environment where the broadest possible reach could have been achieved. The
organization plans to use additional sub-keywords for future campaign
Thunder Bay Regional
Health Sciences Foundation
Text TBHEALTH to 20222
to donate $10 to the "I owe Michael Antcliffe $10" campaign
Text HOPE to 20222 to
donate $10 to the Northern Cancer Fund
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences
Foundation launched its first mobile giving campaign in the early summer of
2012 after researching how text-to-donate could engage new supporters and raise
additional funds. Two distinct campaigns were run throughout the summer with
the keywords and taglines above.
major appeals across two campaigns averaged over $800 in funds raised for each
Facebook share equated to approximately 3-4 text message donations.
cash donations were received from an older demographic during live audience
planning prior to launch, setting realistic expectations, and defining goals;
potential donors on how to use text-to-donate;
sharing through social media; and
a personal connection to the cause.
Monthly recurring sustainable
biggest success story this year relates to the launch of a recurring monthly
sustainable gift feature available to existing applicants with long-term
campaigns. After completing a one-time gift, donors are invited to join the
recurring program. If the donor opts in, a donation is confirmed via text message
every month until the donor makes a decision to opt out by sending STOP to the
applicable short code number.
The UN World Food Programme, the Ottawa Mission Foundation, Breakfast Clubs of Canada and the BC and Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian
Legion are among the first to add the recurring gift option to their
campaigns. We're seeing an average opt-in rate of 7%, a high of 34% and a low
of 2%. The recurring feature is available for both $5 and $10 text-to-donate
campaigns, but we are seeing a tendency for higher opt-in rates among the $5
campaigns. Released in September, the feature is showing much promise for the
success of charitable text-to-donate campaigns.
This article is adapted from a
presentation given at the Association of
Fundraising Professionals (Greater Toronto Chapter) Congress 2012 in
November. Next week, watch for Katherine's article on challenges and success
tips for mobile giving.
Winchester is the Administrator of the Mobile Giving Foundation, where she manages
day-to-day operations along with all major projects for text-to-donate
programs, and works to broaden the awareness of its applicable use in the