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Mobile Impact 101 - Guest Blog by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

Resource Center - Foundation

Darian Rodriguez Heyman emceed the general sessions at the recent AFP International Conference on Fundraising in San Antonio, and co-led the closing panel on social media with Ritu Sharma He is the former executive director of Craigslist Foundation and co-founder of Social Media for Nonprofits, and is now focused on a mobile startup serving nonprofit clients. Here, Darian shares some insights around how AFP members can leverage the fundraising potential of mobile. 

There are 3.5 billion toothbrushes on the planet, but 4 billion cell phones.  And we’re addicted to these devices: 58 percent of smartphone users can’t go an hour without checking their phone, and 91 percent have it within arms reach 24/7.

But the question remains, how can nonprofits harness the potential of the most popular tool in history for social change?

The good news is, the party has already started.  A typical nonprofit already sees 30 percent of their website traffic from mobile devices, and Google just released a study which found 25 percent of supporters discover nonprofits from their mobile device.  This transition is exciting given that TechImpact discovered that mobile users are nearly twice as likely to share on social networks, and now most emails are opened on smartphones or tablets.

With smartphone sales overtaking regular feature phones for the first time last year, and mobile web traffic overtaking desktop usage this year, big change is afoot for nonprofits and anyone else with an online presence.

I recently led a webinar via 4Good regarding how exactly nonprofits can leverage mobile for fundraising, marketing, advocacy and programs.  But given the great conversations I had before and after our keynote in San Antonio, I wanted to take this opportunity to share arguably the most important tool covered with the AFP community: the Mobile Matrix.  If your nonprofit wants to raise money via mobile, the key is planning for success, and it’s just this simple:

ewire april 2 2014 mobile matrix NEW 

This tool was conceived by my new mobile startup, BetterWorld Wireless.  While working with our U.S. nonprofit customers, we realized that many had yet to realize that just like social media, mobile is a tool—it’s a means, not an end.  The real question is: what do you want to use it for?

The Mobile Matrix simply lays out the possibilities.  In a group meeting, talk through it and explore each cell.  For example, how can we use mobile to increase donations (i.e. ‘Revenue’ from ‘Donors’), and how important is this for us, vs. using it to get our volunteers engaged in fundraising, or reaching out to the public with a mobile crowdfunding effort?  Simply put an “X” in your priority cells, or ideally rate each one on a scale of 1-10 so you can sort through your options.

Form follows function: once you know what you want to use mobile for, then you can begin to devise a strategy, identify relevant tools and move forward in a thoughtful, strategic way that maps to needed results, including fundraising targets. 

Whether it’s about growing revenue, increasing operational efficiencies and cutting cost, more effectively communicating with your constituents or better serving clients, the key is to follow the great advice of T.E. Lawrence: “Dream your dreams with open eyes, and make them come true.”

Check out the archived webinar if you want to learn more about TextToGive, Mobile Apps vs. Websites, staffing considerations, analytics and other mobile fundraising opportunities.  BetterWorld Wireless is also about to kick off a four-part Mobile Impact webinar series via TechSoup, our launch partner, in May and June if you want to dive deeper—follow me on Twitter to stay tuned.

Finally, on the off chance you’re somehow wondering if the next generation of donors is mobile, the answer is a clear yes.  In fact, the average age for a first cell phone is now 13.  Mobile is the future, but it’s here today.  Now it’s up to you and your cause to take full advantage of the tremendous opportunities it represents— good hunting!

Darian Rodriguez Heyman is co-founder & chief development officer of BetterWorld Wireless, the first company to apply TOMS Shoes' One for One model to mobile. In addition to his current efforts to promote mobile impact across the globe, he is a frequent keynote speaker. Building on his background as co-founder of Social Media for Nonprofits, the only conference series devoted to social media for social good, and his tenure as executive director of Craigslist Foundation, he speaks about fundraising, social media strategy, and the future of philanthropy. Heyman is also the best-selling author of Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals (Jossey-Bass) and previously started Beyond Interactive, one of the first digital advertising agencies.



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