It’s old news that charitable organisations have been hit hard by the recession, with overall donations in the UK falling by approximately £70million in 2011 alone. Yet, in the face of these daunting figures, smart organisations are now beginning to harness the growing power of mobile marketing, with a view to using mobile donations to cover the shortfall.
In fact, new research from OpenMarket has revealed that mobile donations are well on their way to becoming the UK’s primary source of charitable giving. Despite a sharp decrease in the number of individuals donating via traditional methods, such as standing orders, charity shops and physical envelope collections, donations by text message are up an astonishing 200% on last year. These figures indicate a very welcome and positive cultural shift towards mobile donations across the board after fears were expressed about the fall in giving from younger donors.
The introduction of SMS donations has also seen a steady rise in charitable giving amongst the over 60′s, which has successfully dispelled concerns that mobile donations would predominantly be reliant on a younger, 18-30 market. Donation services using SMS have now advanced to such a stage that charities are able to appeal to a much broader audience than was previously thought, whilst also using ongoing innovations to boost their revenues. The advantage of SMS also lies in its personal appeal, and, with 90% of text messages being read within an hour of sending, mobile comes up trumps over other, more traditional charitable marketing solutions.
SMS donation campaigns have become integral to third sector marketing, with major charities across the UK witnessing heavy usage of SMS donation services. The Disasters Emergency Committee, for example, saw their marketing of a SMS donation solution during their East Africa Crisis appeal bring in an increase of 500% in SMS donations. These mobile donates converted to £1.5million in funds, and accounted for double the response from other channels.
Creative charities are now also using mobile giving to create powerful campaigns, for example, with the launch of the National Funding Scheme, which enables mobile donation services to cultural institutions. Thus mobile marketing is fast becoming a main stay for charitable organisations as a way to appeal not only to a young demographic, but more and more to a tech-savvy older generation now embracing the mobile age.